If we put ourselves in the shoes of Alek Manoah, it is clear that we must give him credit for his formidable rise in the world of baseball towards MLB. That said, we also have to give credit to the Blue Jays for the environment they created for the youngster.
Last year, he learned a lot from left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who became his great friend. Together, the two watched Korean shows, even though the rookie doesn’t speak the language.
He also learned a lot from Robbie Ray and I daresay a Steven Matz helped. Then, in the middle of the season, Jose Berrios landed in town and was often seen near Manoah.
And there, we can add Kevin Gausman to the lot, which is not ugly at all. Along with Pete Walker, these have been good voices to help him since his MLB debut in May 2021.
It must be stressed that I have not yet spoken about the outside voices of the organization like his brother or other guys from the Manfred circuit.
Let’s talk about Gausman. The latter, even if he has just arrived, has already helped Manoah at the technical level, as confirmed by the young man in an interview with Sportsnet.
When we look at the pitcher’s arsenal, we realize that he works a lot with his rapid, his sliding and his falling, but also has a change of speed which he uses about once every 10 pitches.
But there, for a few years, he has been working in order to have more control over a variant of the gear change, a split change. He plans to use it more often in matches.
Gausman has a gearshift in his toolbox and he’s already had a chat with Manoah to help him technically improve his. Manoah is working hard to take it to the next level.
The youngster is looking forward to meeting the veteran at camp to continue improving his shooting even more, which will be devastating. And since Manoah seems like a sponge when it comes to learning new tricks, it could be a big help for the Blue Jays, who have given him good tools to improve.