Aaron Sanchez is headed to the All-Star Game
Four months ago, Aaron Sanchez was going head-to-head with veteran free agent signing Gavin Floyd for the fifth and final spot in the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting rotation. Oh, how the times have changed.
Following Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers it was announced that Sanchez would be replacing Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel in the MLB All-Star Game, giving the Blue Jays five representatives for just the third time in team history per Ben Nicholson-Smith (1993, 2006).
Sanchez will be joining Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Marco Estrada, and Michael Saunders who was voted into the last roster spot with over 17 million votes.
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His season has certainly been All-Star worthy, too, as Sanchez entered Saturday’s start with a 2.4 WAR. That ranks him tied for fifth in the American League behind only Corey Kluber, Jose Quintana, Masahiro Tanaka, and Chris Sale.
He’s done with with an excellent ground ball rate and improved control from his 2015 season, which was spent split between the rotation and bullpen. With 118.1 innings under his belt, though, much of the buzz around Sanchez has been whether or not the Blue Jays will keep him in a starting role for the rest of the season.
Sanchez has done everything in his power to eliminate that possibility, however, and hasn’t shown any signs of wavering from his 95 MPH velocity on a start-to-start basis. Along with his spin rates and pitch locations late into games there will be a multitude of factors to consider for the Blue Jays, but Sanchez is no longer just “a starter”, he may be Toronto’s best.