The Toronto Blue Jays are currently second in the AL East Division with a 36-24 record.
They’re eight games behind the New York Yankees, but look solid across the board and ready to make a serious playoff run.
One of the main reasons they look so good is their rotation, and a big driver of staff success has been Alek Manoah.
The young right-hander had already impressed last year, when he made his MLB debut, with a 3.22 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 111.2 frames.
But this time he’s taking it up a notch, as if it were possible: with a 1.67 ERA, he’s one of the league’s leaders in the category, and making sure the baseball community thinks to him when discussing individual awards.
“@Alek_Manoah6 lLily @MLB with 11 quality starts: Is the 7th SP in the modern era to win 17 of their first 20 decisions; Has the second-lowest ERA (1.67) over the first 12 games of a season by a starter in #Blue Jays history,” the Blue Jays Twitter account wrote on Tuesday.
⚡️ @Alek_Manoah6 ⚡️
🔹 Leads @MLB with 11 quality starts
🔹 Is the 7th SP in the modern era to win 17 of his first 20 decisions
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 14, 2022
League leader in quality starts
While many front offices care a lot about sophisticated and advanced metrics to gauge performance, most managers care the most about quality startups.
They want their pitcher to take the ball and give the club a chance to win. and MLB quantified this ability in the “quality start” statistic: pitching six or more innings while allowing three or fewer earned runs.
Manoah leads the category as the Blue Jays can count on a quality start from him almost every time he takes the ball.
His strikeouts are already up (he’s 68 in 75.2 innings), so his ERA should stay stellar all season as long as he’s healthy.