Street. PETERSBURG, FL – Given that getting the ball out of Alec Manoah’s hand seven rounds a game can be a chore, imagine suggesting to the Blue Jays’ right-hand man that he take an extra day?
That’s exactly what the team did here in a crucial four-game streak against the Tampa Bay Rays, postponing their next descent to Saturday instead of Friday, where they usually fall.
And doomed is everything.
There are many potential benefits to the move, which manager John Schneider announced ahead of Thursday’s first of four games here against the Rays.
First, drop-forward, Manoah is available for the end of the season in Baltimore, if this game is of interest to the Jays’ playoff spots. (Aside, Schneider said that if a win was required to secure the highest place in the wild card and thus the first round at home, it would be a job for Manoah.)
If not, the big guy can charge a fee for a potential breakout series opening two days later.
But the biggest benefit, the Jays hope, is that an extra day to breathe and recover, will help the Bulls in their core team get a few extras for what the team intends to be a meaningful playoff in October.
Jays coach Pete Walker said as the team was dusting off sleep after a flight from Philadelphia did not. Take them to the St Pete Hotel until 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.
“That’s what we’re hoping for. At this point in the season, he’s been fantastic. He’s answered the bell throughout the whole season and we want him to be strong at the end and in the potential post-season, obviously.
“We have to get there first and consolidate our position, but he is a guy who we want to be strong throughout the whole season beyond. At the moment, it is really important to give him an extra day.”
While Manoah showed minimal signs of wear in his first full season in the league, his workload was heavy. As Walker noted, there have been recent matches where his fast pace has decreased but his 183.2 innings at team level and with a 14-7 win-loss record and an ERA of 2.40, it was crucial to getting Jays into a favourite.
The day added to Manoah triggered a rotation in rotation for this series. Friday’s competition was unofficially “to be decided” before the series opened, but the Jays plan to go with Mitch White however many bulls arms are needed. (And given Jose Berreos’ tough outing on Thursday, that number may be reduced.)
Manoah will go on Saturday and Ross Streibling will finish the series here on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s (Manoah’s) best bet right now, for him and us,” Schneider said of the switch. “Alec checks every box on being ready and staying ready between starts. He has had an extra day a few times but we are just trying to make the most of it at this time of year.”
What about Nate?
Given his long and frustrating history of injury, Jays is understandably cautious in talking about the prospects of bowler Nate Pearson joining the squad before the season ends.
But the team is quietly encouraged by how the former prospect is progressing through his rehab task while recovering from a delayed fatigue.
On Wednesday, Pearson threw 1.1 runs for a triple-A Bison, writing off four. If his recovery continues, could the thought at first contribute to it?
“It’s just a matter of how he bounces back and is able to play multiple roles and have good overall health,” Schneider said of Pearson. “If these things are there – he has played at that level before. It is knowing a person, looking at things, knowing how they feel.”
About the rules
Santiago Espinal will not be available for most of the crucial matches after the team put the versatile player on their 10-day injury list with a left-leaning strain. Espinal picked up the injury on Wednesday in Philadelphia after making a strange swing early on the bat… As for fuzzy underdog Anthony Bass, who remained on the field on Wednesday in Philadelphia, Schneider said the right-hander was available and likely to see Work on Thursday. “Bass finished up a couple of days ago, he’s 100 percent ready to go,” Schneider said. Schneider said Lord Goriel Jr. (hamstring strain) is with the team in the Tampa area and continues to advance through baseball activities. There is no timetable for the player’s return, but… the post-season maneuvers still have a dozen games left, but it’s worth nothing: The Jays have won 15 of their previous 19 games on the road ahead of Thursday’s competition… Jays’ record All the time in Trop heading into this series: 85-128…it looks like the World Championship odds on Jays fluctuate almost daily now. After heavy losses on Sunday and Wednesday, bookmaker Bodog dumped the Jays to 16-1, or seventh option overall.