The Toronto Blue Jays promoted right-hander Alek Manoah to the majors on Thursday, and he responded by suffocating the New York Yankees' lineup in the first game of a doubleheader, which turned out to be a 2-0 Toronto win (box score).
Here's a look at the numbers from Manoah's MLB debut, in which he was credited with the win:
Of Manaoh's 88 pitches, 60 went for strikes, and he also registered first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 22 batters he faced. He leaned primarily on his mid-90s fastballs (four-seamer and two-seamer) and slider, and he also went to his changeup on occasion. Here's a look at his two leading offerings from Thursday:
And no set of Manoah highlights from his debut would be complete without noting his mom's (quite understandable) enthusiasm:
Manoah had originally been slated to start on Wednesday before the game was rained out. The 23-year-old right-hander was the 11th overall pick in the 2019 draft by way of West Virginia University. He's the second player from that round and class to reach the majors, joining Chicago White Sox outfielder Andrew Vaughn. The pandemic altered Manoah's development arc, limiting him to just nine professional starts. In those outings, he's compiled a 1.54 ERA and a 6.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Most recently, the 6-foot-6 Manoah made three appearances for Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, striking out 27 of the 66 batters he faced in 18 innings. He also allowed one run on seven hits and three walks.
CBS Sports ranked Manoah as the third-best prospect in the Blue Jays farm system last fall. Here's what we wrote at the time:
Manoah is a large right-hander who looks the part of an innings eater. He has a good fastball-slider combination, and his changeup has shown some promise as well. Manoah doesn't have the most aesthetically pleasing delivery, which threatens to leave him with subpar command. There's some relief risk here -- Manoah spent most of his freshman and sophomore years in the bullpen at WVU -- but he's made enough strides since the start of 2018 that, for now anyway, it feels all right to project him as a starting pitcher.
The Blue Jays could use the rotation help. Coming into Wednesday, Toronto's starting five ranked 16th in the majors in ERA. The hope is that Manoah will continue thriving as he did on Thursday. The win pushes the Jays to 25-23 on the season.