Blue Jays: Desperation breeding short-sighted decisions

Apr 30, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning but later was pulled from the game at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning but later was pulled from the game at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Sunday, Aaron Sanchez returned from the disabled list to make his first start since the second week of April. Unfortunately, he was not ready to return to the mound, and only lasted one inning.

Things didn’t go as planned for Aaron Sanchez and the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. The budding ace was scheduled to make his return to the mound, after spending some time on the disabled list battling blister issues on his pitching hand.

Unfortunately the 2016 AL ERA leader was unable to last very long, as he was removed after facing just 3 batters and completing one inning. A little later on in the game it was revealed that Sanchez had a split nail on his middle finger, and it was announced he’s headed back to the DL as of Monday morning, as the Jays recalled Danny Barnes.

In Sanchez’s case, the Blue Jays thought that they had allowed for sufficient time for his finger to heal, however, that obviously wasn’t the case once he tested it in live game action. With some injuries, you won’t truly know what to expect until they’re tested in those scenarios, but it has to be frustrating that Sanchez was only able to last one inning.

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Due to that quick exit as well, it would stand to reason that the Blue Jays staff may have rushed him back a little too early. It’s one thing if issues resurfaced after a full outing from the starter, but the fact that it popped up, seemingly after the first pitch of the game, has to have some eyebrows raising around the game.

Yes, the Blue Jays badly need Sanchez back in the rotation if they’re going to take a run at getting back in contention. However, losing him for another extended period is a gigantic blow to the club, even if guys like Mat Latos have been making admirable contributions while filling in for him and fellow injured starter, J.A. Happ.

Sanchez was still testing the injury as late as Saturday prior to the Blue Jays making their decision on Sunday’s starter, which makes me question further why the Jays were in such a rush to get him back on Sunday. Marco Estrada was even pushed back a day on his regular schedule in order to accommodate Sanchez’s return. It all just seems very short-sighted.

Add the fact that Josh Donaldson still resides on the disabled list with a calf injury, and it’s probably fair to wonder if the Blue Jays’ training staff has made some mistakes this year. Donaldson tweaked his calf in the first series of the season, only to be put back in the lineup as the DH a couple days later, and subsequently injuring his leg badly enough that we haven’t seen him on the field since.

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Any competitive player wants to be on the field as soon as possible, and both Donaldson and Sanchez have shown that passion for the game, not to mention the value that they bring to the Blue Jays respectively. However, it appears the Blue Jays may have been a little premature in bringing back each player, and thus far, it’s cost them in the early going.

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