Major League Baseball has suspended former WVU ace and current Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah for five games after hitting Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco on Saturday.
Michael Hill, MLB’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, made the announcement on the premise that the up-and-in fastball on Franco was aimed at the batter “intentionally” in the bottom of the fourth inning. Franco and Manoah exchanged words after the pitch, sparking both benches to clear. Manoah was then ejected, much to his confusion, before getting pulled away by manager Charlie Montoyo.
The pitch in question came after back-to-back homers by the Orioles (his third and fourth of the game), prompting the umpire crew to eject the rookie righty.
In addition to the suspension, MLB fined Manoah an undisclosed amount and gave Montoyo a one-game suspension. Montoyo will serve the suspension on Tuesday night during Toronto’s road game against the Miami Marlins, but Manoah is appealing his own. That means he will not begin to serve his discipline until the appeal process is complete.
Manoah’s first season with Toronto has made waves across MLB, earning a six-inning shutout win over the Yankees in his May major league debut. Through five starts, he has a 1-0 record and a 4.18 ERA.