The Toronto Blue Jays are currently second in the AL East division with a 36-24 record.
They are eight games behind the New York Yankees, but look rock-solid across the board and ready to make a serious run at the postseason.
One of the main reasons they look so good is their rotation, and one of the main drivers of the staff’s 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 is taking it up a notch, as if it was possible: with a 1.67 ERA, he is one of the league leaders in the category, and is making sure the baseball community has him in mind when discussing individual awards.
“@Alek_Manoah6 leads @MLB with 11 quality starts: Is the 7th SP in the modern era to win 17 of his first 20 decisions; Owns the second lowest ERA (1.67) through the first 12 games of a season by a starter in #BlueJays 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
The League Leader In Quality Starts
While many front offices care a lot about fancy, advanced metrics to evaluate performance, most managers care the most about quality starts.
They want their pitcher to take the ball and give the club a chance to win; and MLB has quantified this ability in the “quality start” stat: pitching six innings or more while allowing three earned runs or fewer.
Manoah leads the category, as the Blue Jays can count on a quality start from him nearly every time he takes the ball.
His strikeouts are already on the way up (he has 68 in 75.2 innings), so his ERA should remain stellar all season long as long as he is healthy.