Alek Manoah forced to leave Wednesday's game early with right elbow discomfort

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The Blue Jays are holding their breath and holding out hope that Alek Manoah’s elbow injury isn’t going to keep the big righty off the mound for an extended stretch.

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When it comes to elbow injuries in baseball, every possible scenario remains on the table.

The Jays were hoping to put the finishing touches on a sweep in Chicago when they sent Manoah out to the mound in Wednesday’s series finale.

In his fifth start of the season, Manoah faced the woeful White Sox.

He was given a 2-0 lead when he began the home half of the second inning.

Following an 0-1 pitch, however, Manoah was removed from the game with an apparent injury.

An inning or so later, it was announced Manoah had right elbow discomfort, which could mean anything.

For obvious reasons, it’s way too premature to tell how many starts, if any, Manoah will miss.

Regardless, it’s a big blow for the Jays and an even bigger one for Manoah.

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A one-time Cy Young Award finalist, Manoah’s struggles in 2023 took him to the lowest levels of the minor leagues.

The road back to the show hasn’t been easy.

Manoah seemed to have recently regained the form that made him one of baseball’s most dominant and dynamic pitchers. He went 14 scoreless innings in starts against Tampa and Minny.

Then came a start in Motown last week when Manoah did not look good.

It’s why Wednesday’s outing in the south side of Chicago loomed so large.

Manoah’s season began at tripe-A Buffalo on a rehab assignment.

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He had, in essence, one good start, but it was enough for the Jays to call him up.

The team had lost Yariel Rodriguez, the club’s No. 5 starter, in the wake of a back injury.

Rodriguez’s return appears imminent.

As for Manoah, his return remains very much up in the air.

Trevor Richards went into Wednesdays’ game once Manoah left, and pitched well.

Richards pitched well.

When the Jays needed to a fill a void at the No. 5 starter, they decided to go with Richards as an opener.

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