Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos may not fully know how the team is going to proceed leading up to the Major League Baseball trade deadline. However, he talks like a man that seems to have a less of a sense of urgency in regards to upgrading the pitching staff.
In a conversation with the media prior to Wednesday’s game with the Milwaukee Brewers, Anthopoulos touched on a number of subjects, including the trade deadline. And while he was vague about where the team will ultimately look to improve, he did let a nugget slip about one way he may improve the team via internal options, specifically top prospect Aaron Sanchez (h/t Shi Davidi).
Intriguingly, AA says recent arm-slot adjustment for Aaron Sanchez helping command, makes him think RHP could help this season.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 2, 2014
Well, that’s certainly interesting. Fans and pundits alike have long loved Aaron Sanchez as a prospect and feel that he has electric stuff that will make him a top of the rotation starter in the Major Leagues. Coupled with Marcus Stroman, Sanchez gives the Blue Jays two significant pitching prospects just steps away from the Major Leagues.
However, I’m not necessarily sure I’m buying into the whole concept of Sanchez showing a ton of improvement with his control just yet. Yes, he managed to walk just 1 batter during his last outing on June 30th against Syracuse, but that comes after posting a 12/13 BB/K ratio over his first three starts (13.1 IP) with Triple-A Buffalo and a 1.43 K/BB ratio while with the Double-A Fisher Cats. Not exactly numbers that are screaming that improved control.
However, perhaps Anthopoulos’ comments have another purpose. Perhaps they aren’t made to make us feel better about Aaron Sanchez and predict his coming to Toronto.
Perhaps Anthopoulos is baiting the hook a bit and trying to reel in a big fish.
By inflating his value, noting that he is showing marked improvements, and that he is close to Major League ready, the Blue Jays are trying to put Sanchez on a platform and make him stand stronger on his own. The goal, at least in this writer’s opinion, is to make Sanchez valuable enough so that prospective trade partners back off of larger demands, that have included the likes of rising prospects Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey, not to mention Stroman and Sanchez.
Then again, maybe Anthopoulos is being forthright, making us feel proud that Sanchez is ready for the next step, and giving us the warm and fuzzies that he is in fact untouchable. Either way, Sanchez is going to need to show us more in Buffalo for a good 5-6 more starts before we can buy into him as a viable solution for a playoff contender