Scenario #3- Sanchez Named 5th Starter
The toughest spring training choice for the coaching staff will likely be what to do with the talented arm of Aaron Sanchez.
We all know what he’s capable of in the back of the bullpen, and the easy answer is to slot him into the 7th or 8th inning and watch him continue to dominate with his power fastball. But what if he is one of the best starters on the roster? Would getting 175 innings out of him not be more valuable than the roughly 60 innings he’d pitch out of the pen?
Obviously, the decision has many layers and the trickle down effect is significant to the roster. With Sanchez in the rotation, Chavez is cemented into the long relief role, and chances are Hutchison starts in triple-A. While that leaves one of the 3 off the big league roster, it gives Sanchez the opportunity to make a greater contribution and to answer the question of where he fits best long term.
While some fans are feeling underwhelmed by the rotation with David Price‘s departure, the Jays haven’t had this much depth to choose from in spring training for many years.
If the choice were up to me, I would start the season with scenario #3, having Sanchez begin in the rotation. If he falters, he can be moved back to the bullpen without a “stretching out” period, and Chavez or Hutchison should be ready to step in to the #5 role. I do have faith in Drew Hutchison as well, but every team eventually needs a 6th starter, and having him stretched out in Buffalo isn’t the worst scenario.
What about you? Who would you like to see as the Jays 5th starter to open the season?