Toronto Blue Jays star right-hander Alek Manoah named opening-day starter

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DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Toronto Blue Jays have named ace right-hander Alek Manoah as their opening-day starting pitcher for the upcoming Major League Baseball season.

Manoah, 25, was a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award last season after posting a 16-7 record with a 2.24 earned-run average and 180 strikeouts over 31 starts.

The six-foot-six, 285-pound native of Homestead, Fla., was scheduled to start in the Blue Jays’ pre-season game against visiting Philadelphia on Friday. He entered the game with a 1-2 record, 3.77 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings over four starts this spring.

Toronto opens the season next Thursday in St. Louis.

Manoah will be tasked with anchoring a promising Jays rotation that includes Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios and newcomer Chris Bassitt. Yusei Kikuchi has made a compelling case for the fifth spot in the rotation with an excellent spring.

Berrios was Toronto’s opening day starter in 2022.

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