The Blue Jays made the move one day after Manoah lasted just one-third of an inning and allowed six runs in a loss to the Houston Astros. The 2022 American League Cy Young Award finalist is 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA in 13 starts this season.
Blue Jays manager John Schneider acknowledged after Monday’s 11-4 loss that “everything is on the table” in terms of the organization’s options for Manoah, whose demotion came amid a series of roster moves.
On Tuesday, Schneider said there was no timeline for Manoah’s return to Toronto’s rotation.
“Whenever he’s ready is when he’s ready,” Schneider said, adding that he wanted the slumping pitcher to focus on his form and not have to worry about regular competition.
Schneider said Manoah was “upset” when told of the demotion.
“It wasn’t an easy conversation,” Schneider said. “He understands that the performance hasn’t really been there.”
Toronto is the only big league team to use no more than five starting pitchers so far this season. The Blue Jays are 33-28, fourth in the American League East.
Formerly known as the Gulf Coast League, the Florida Complex League is considered one of the lowest levels of affiliated minor league baseball. The Blue Jays’ FCL team operates out of the organization’s spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, where Manoah will have access to resources that might have been limited at higher levels of the minors.
Manoah, 25, was an All-Star last season, when he finished third in the AL in wins (16) and ERA (2.24).
Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt was reinstated from the paternity list Tuesday, while infielder Santiago Espinal was activated from the 10-day injured list. Toronto also selected the contract of right-hander Bowden Francis from Triple-A Syracuse.
To make room for Bassitt, Espinal and Francis on the roster, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Zach Thompson for assignment and optioned right-hander Jay Jackson and infielder Ernie Clement to Triple-A Buffalo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Blue Jays demote Alek Manoah to rookie-level Florida Complex League