(Dunedin) The Toronto Blue Jays named right-handed ace Alek Manoah as their season opener starter.
The 25-year-old Manoah was a finalist for the American Cy-Young Trophy last season. He was 16-7, with a 2.24 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 31 starts.
The six-foot-6 colossus is scheduled to start Friday in a preseason game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Manoah is 1-2, with a 3.77 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays open their season Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Manoah will be tasked with being the mainstay of a promising Blue Jays rotation that includes Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios and newcomer Chris Bassitt. Yusei Kikuchi made a compelling case for fifth place in the rotation with strong performances during spring camp.
Berrios was the Blue Jays’ starter in the team’s 2022 opener.