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Mountaineers in the Pros

Alek Manoah Makes Triple-A Start: A Blooper and a Blast



Alek Manoah

WVU Baseball product and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah made his latest minor league rehab start on Friday night as he continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury. His night went well except for one moment.

The former Mountaineers star pitched 5.2 innings for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, far and away his longest appearance of the young season, striking out five batters and allowing just two runs, both of which came on a first-inning home run as he started to settle in. He also ended up on the wrong end of a viral tweet, hit below the belt by a throw back to the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Manoah doubled over after the throw, whether in shock, pain, relief at a near miss or some combination of them all. He managed to force four more outs following the play, though, appearing none the worse for wear.

Manoah displayed excellent command in the start, firing 61 of 92 pitches for strikes without issuing a single free pass. Solid contact remained an issue, as four of the six hits he allowed went for extra bases, although he still managed to work in and out of traffic from the stretch despite that—a good sign, given the reported issues with the pitch clock that contributed to last season’s struggles.

Alek Manoah struggled mightily in his first and only start of spring training before Toronto shut him down with right shoulder inflammation. He still has a long way to go before regaining the form that saw him finish third in the American League Cy Young race, but Friday’s start—blooper and all—was a step in the right direction after more than a year of rumors about his place with the Blue Jays and future in Major League Baseball.

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