Blue Jays: Leiter offers Sanchez some blister advice

BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Aaron Sanchez
BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Aaron Sanchez /

Prior to the game on Friday against the Yankees, former Blue Jay pitcher Al Leiter was seen talking to Aaron Sanchez and offering some advice on how to deal with troublesome blisters.

Blisters have been a big issue in baseball this year, and I would argue that there hasn’t been any player affected as much as Aaron Sanchez. The 2016 American League ERA leader made just eight starts in 2017, pitching just 36 innings and going to the disabled list on four separate occasions.

What started as an issue with his fingernail, morphed into blister issues, and finally into a ligament issue with his middle finger on his pitching hand. His season has been over for some time, but the Blue Jays also moved him to the 60 day DL in order to make room for recent call-up, Taylor Cole.

For Sanchez, he’s been left pretty exasperated this season, as he and the training staff have searched high and low for a solution to his problem. Despite their efforts, Sanchez’s 2018 season is surrounded with a bunch of question marks at the moment, and the team is hopeful that they can make 2017 a distant memory.

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The Blue Jays have had pitchers deal with blister issues in the past, and one of them was at the ballpark on Friday for the game with the Yankees. Now a broadcaster in New York, former Blue Jay pitcher Al Leiter was seen talking to Sanchez before the game and offering some advice on how he dealt with blisters in his career. Of course, the game (and likely the baseball) has changed since his time in the league, but that doesn’t mean that his advice wouldn’t be applicable.

Leiter struggled to stay healthy early on in his career, with blisters being one of the primary culprits. Leiter is said to have used an “exotic liniment” throughout his career to tame the issue, according to his Wikipedia page. If that’s the case, it’s surprising that we haven’t heard more about this elixir with all of the blister issues in baseball this year, but it’s who knows what the Blue Jays training staff has already tried.

Regardless, it’s nice to see Leiter offering any kind of advice to a current Blue Jay, especially since he works for the Yankees’ organization. While baseball is cut throat and competitive, nobody wants to see a young star like Sanchez sidelined because of an issue like blisters, and the game is better for his presence in it. Leiter knows that, and so do the Yankees and Blue Jays. As much as I cringe when Aaron Judge approaches the plate, I would never wish injury on him or any of the Yankees. It’s more fun to beat a team when they have all the bullets in the chamber.

Hopefully an offseason of rest and whatever new approaches Sanchez and the training staff use will take care of the issue and get the former first round pick back on the mound next year. If Leiter could offer any advice to help the cause, all the better.

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