Alek Manoah has had an incredible sophomore campaign with the Blue Jays, and if he keeps it up, he might need to dust off some space in his trophy cabinet.
MLB.com released its early-season favorites for the American League Cy Young Award based on a poll of 70 participants, and the budding star in Toronto came in fourth place with one first-place vote. Manoah trailed Houston’s Justin Verlander, fellow Blue Jay Kevin Gausman and Nestor Cortes of the Yankees, while topping Tampa Bay ace Shane McClanahan.
Manoah also beat out some other big-name stars that received votes, like Gerrit Cole, Shohei Ohtani and Zack Greinke.
The former WVU ace has cemented a regular place in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation in his second season, leading the team with a 4-1 record and a 1.71 ERA while pacing the starting rotation with a 0.881 WHIP. Manoah is also a big performer in advanced stats, leading the staff with a 1.3 win probability added.
The Blue Jays started off hot with Manoah on the bump, winning his first four starts of the season. They have cooled off since then, dropping his last three appearances — only one of which was credited to him.
Of course, the Major League Baseball season is a marathon, and Manoah has a long way to go before he is truly in the Cy Young conversation. He has tossed 42 full innings of baseball thus far, which is below the 162-inning threshold for the league’s ERA title. Additionally, no player has won a Cy Young in a full season in the 21st century without throwing at least 180.2 innings.
Manoah is next slated to take the hill on Saturday when the Blue Jays host the Cincinnati Reds.