The Toronto Blue Jays front office received three pieces of good news in the last five days.

One was that Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory on the road against the Chicago White Sox, the other was that Alex Manoa, who was “zeroed in” in the minors, was returning to the big leagues after a one-month absence, and the third was that veteran Hyun-jin Ryu delivered satisfactory results in his first live start.

Toronto was favored to compete with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East this season, but so far the Rays have underperformed expectations. As of today, they are 46-40, fourth in the division and fourth in the AL wild card. You can blame the ‘Group of Death’. They’re better than the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins (44-43).

But there’s a reason they’re 10 games behind division leader Tampa Bay. It’s the struggles of slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cy Young candidate Manoa. Coincidentally, both players received good news on the same day. Guerrero’s resurgence was highlighted by a two-run homer in the eighth inning of a 2-3 loss to the White Sox. In his last 10 games, Guerrero has four homers and 12 RBIs. It’s safe to say he’s found his groove as the team’s leadoff hitter.

Manoa was removed from the rotation early last month after going 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA this season and had to board a plane to Florida. At the time, manager John Schneider ordered a “complete overhaul” of his pitching form and mindset.

After a month of adjustments, Manoa was recalled to the big leagues. In his last two minor league outings, Manoa received positive feedback on his velocity, delivery, and command. There were also reports of him looking more confident than ever. Manoa is scheduled to start on April 8 against the Detroit Tigers. After a month of “four-man rotation + bullpen day,” Toronto will return to a five-man rotation.

In addition, Ryu Hyun-jin has been given the green light to return. He took the mound for the Rookie-level FCL Blue Jays and pitched three innings of four-hit, five-strikeout ball, allowing one run in his first start in over a year. His fastball sat in the 87-88 mph range, but there was no indication of any problems with his surgically repaired elbow or other areas.

Ryu is expected to move up to Single-A or Double-A in four to five days and pitch four innings in his second rehab start. He is expected to join the rotation later this month.

Manoah’s and Ryu’s smooth returns are huge for Toronto. When Manoah went down a month ago, local media outlets argued that Toronto needed to acquire a starting pitcher or two before the trade deadline. Manoa’s unexpected trip to the minors and Ryu’s unclear timetable for returning to the majors were the main reasons. But now, things are different.

“Assuming Ryu pitches as planned, the Blue Jays will have six healthy, major league-caliber starters heading into the Aug. 2 trade deadline,” Yahoo Sports reported on Saturday, “which would go a long way toward getting them out of the hole they’ve been in since June and allow the front office to address their starting pitching shortage from within as the All-Star break approaches.바카라

The question is whether Ryu’s return will open up a starting spot, with Schneider likely opting for a six-man rotation. This is to ensure the health of the existing four starters and to allow Ryu and Manoa to settle in. Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios actually pitched much better on five days’ rest than on four. Gaudman had a 4.98 ERA on 4 days of rest and a 1.13 ERA on 5 days of rest. Berrios has a 3.59 ERA on four days’ rest and a 2.68 ERA on five days’ rest.

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