At 183.2 runs and counting, the 24-year-old surpassed his previous career high of 129.2 created last season, a workload spike that came after the pandemic confined him to alternate outings at the training site in 2020 on the heels of 125.1 Snapshot in 2019.
Sure, pushing him back one day means he’ll miss the New York Yankees next week in Toronto. But with the AL East officially crowning all but the Bronx, Manoah is better off improving for the regular season final stretch and potential final matches beyond.
“He’s a guy we want to be strong all about after the season,” said shooting coach Pete Walker. “It’s uncharted territory for Alec at this time of year and the amount of runs he throws, so we want to make sure he’s as fresh as possible… I think it’s going to boost his stuff a little bit and maybe give him a little bit better speed at the start of the game. That’s (what) we’re hoping for.”
Now, the extra day also puts Manoah into the regular season finale in Baltimore and herein lies the intrigue. If he’s playing in that match – something interim manager John Schneider said would “definitely” be beneficial if the home ground advantage in the wild card round was at stake – he wouldn’t be available for the subsequent first-round series.
On the flip side, if the Blue Jays choose to start on Friday, they will be in line to deliver the penultimate game of the season against the Orioles and could be back in time to start Game Three of the Wild Card Series, if necessary.
At present, the discussion is academic. But Schneider did not hesitate to say he would put Manoah in the regular season final rather than save him in the playoffs, underscoring the value the Blue Jays see in hosting the singles, best of three, wild card site. circular.
“The house square would be great,” Schneider said. “There would be nothing better than playing in front of our fans in the post-season after the last two years, after we weren’t there and what the world and the country went through. It would certainly be reasonable to want to play that series at home knowing we have three other good players. truly “.
The Blue Jays entered Friday’s game with not much difference between their home record (43-32) and the road (41-33). But the post-season could be an entirely different beast, with two or three more games on the way to the end of the Baltimore trip, with two more games in the Division Series host if he survives the first round.
That’s a lot of butt to pull into a stretchy, squishy-packed stretch.
“At this point, you have to do what you have to do and it’s a fun road trip no matter how long, no matter how long,” Schneider said. “The stakes are a little different, obviously. But if you can dictate it and know you’re going home for at least two people, hopefully that’s great and travel will be a little bit easier in terms of burden and those things won’t be delayed.”
Another dynamic is the bustling environment created by Blue Jays fans during post-season games at Rogers Center, something Walker experienced during playoffs taking place in 2015 and 2016.
He thinks the environment has made a difference for those teams, which hit 6-5 at home in those two subsequent seasons.
“I was trying to explain to these guys the size and hustle of the crowd at certain moments over those 15 and 16 years in the playoffs,” Walker said. “It was unbelievable, something I’ll never forget and it’s an experience I want these guys to feel. That’s (what) we hope for. We want to go home, we want to play at home in the playoffs and that’s our goal. I think they’ll enjoy when they get that moment.” “.
Whether it’s worth taking Manoah out of the wild card tour for an interesting discussion, a discussion that may not be relevant until the October 5 final arrival time.
What’s indisputable is that doing what’s best for Manoa, which also benefits the rest of the turns by getting each of them an extra day before the final turns, is crucial.
“If you can take advantage of (two extra days) instead of one or nothing, that would probably be the best bet right now for him and us. That definitely went into thinking,” Schneider said. Prepare and stay prepared in between. He’s had an extra day a few times, but he’s been trying to make the most of it at this time of year.”
Walker added, “There are a lot of different directions you can go with spinning from this point forward. We chose to give Alec an extra day, and in fact the other guys ended up with an extra day too. I’m more interested in next week, but we’re preparing ourselves to make those decisions when Come “.