The future ace of the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff has made three separate trips to the DL this season already in an attempt to rectify blister problems on his pitching hand. Is it time to look for an alternative measure?
Aaron Sanchez deserves to be near the top of the Blue Jays rotation as he proven over and over, however, this season has dealt Sanchez an unexpected curve that has forced him out of the lineup on numerous occasions.
The fireballer has spent the following stints on the DL due to that nagging blister issue on his middle finger.
April 15th to the 29th missed 14 games
May 01st to the 13th missed 12 games
May 20th to present missed 9 games and counting.
The Blue Jays have been vague on a current timetable probably due to the uncertainty and the repeated reoccurrence of the blisters. Sanchez also underwent a procedure to have his fingernail partially removed and then the nail proceeded to crack causing him separate issues.
According to the American Medical Journal of Orthopedics blisters in baseball are caused by repeated trauma between the baseball seams and the fingers:
Friction blisters are a common sequela of many athletic activities. Their significance can range from minor annoyance to major performance disruptions. The latter is particularly true in baseball pitchers, who sustain repeated trauma between the baseball seams and the fingers of the pitching hand, predominately at the tips of the index and long fingers.
So my thinking outside the box thought of the day is what if Sanchez moves back to the bullpen for the remainder of the season to hopefully alleviate that constant repeated friction he endures as a starter.
I am not trying to rock the boat and 100 percent would rather Sanchez in the rotation, however, I would also 100 percent rather Sanchez contributing from the bullpen rather than on the DL.
The 24-year old Sanchez has only made 5 starts this season pitching a total of 24.1 innings while recording a 3.33 earned run average in those outings while dealing with the blister issues. On the flip side Biagini has also made 5 starts and while pitching 42 innings this includes his bullpen time as well and he has an earned run average of 3.64 thus far.
Sanchez would have to rely less on his secondary stuff out of the pen which is usually the problematic pitches when dealing with blisters. This would perhaps allow Sanchez to heal and overcome the issue while still contributing to the Jays push for the postseason.
Arguably Biagini is no Sanchez but “Big Joe” has been adequate and would seemingly get better with each passing start as he builds his arm up and gets a feel for starting down the stretch.
So do the unforeseen circumstances that Sanchez has been dealt with this season, could the Blue Jays benefit from having him tabbed as a reliever from here on out?
Food for thought anyways!