Aaron Sanchez shines as Blue Jays top Rays


Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez pitched an excellent four innings as he continues to make his case for a spot in Toronto’s starting rotation

Another outing, another step forward for Aaron Sanchez as the Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The young starter allowed just one hit over four innings while striking out four, putting up some impressive ground ball numbers with his diving fastball.

Tampa’s lineup was admittedly not an All-Star offering, but Sanchez passed the eye test in flying colours as he worked his fastball from 94 MPH to 98 MPH throughout the game. The movement was impressive as ever, and it was hitting bats very heavy.

A big part of Sanchez’s spring has been working to add secondary pitches. Not only will this help him to be more dynamic in small moments, but it will also help him diversify his offering and stay strong late into his starts.

On Sunday, the curveball was moving a lot

Now, if a veteran hitter is sitting on a curveball and that comes in, it could fly a long way. But if Sanchez is able to maintain that level of movement while burying the pitch in the dirt, it will look like a strike for the first 55 feet. That’s a dangerous weapon.

Manager John Gibbons is still not committing to a role for Sanchez, and truthfully, he has no reason to do so until much later in the spring. Sanchez is certainly doing his part, and with another strong outing or two of this length, will be making it very difficult for the Blue Jays not to name him the fifth starter in the rotation.