Right-handed starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez left Thursday night’s game against the Angels with an apparent finger contusion, an injury similar to the one that plagued him last season.
According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, Aaron Sanchez left Thursday’s game against the Angels in the second inning with a right index finger contusion. The tweet also noted that the X-rays on his finger came back negative.
While it was clear that something wasn’t right with Sanchez – he did not throw a breaking ball in his single inning of work, allowing two runs on two hits – it didn’t appear to be injury related. However, as Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler noted on the Sportsnet broadcast, Sanchez seemed to be off as soon as began his warm-ups, sending his first full-speed warm-up pitch to the backstop.
Although it wasn’t blatantly obvious when exactly he started feeling some discomfort, he did glance at his hand and wipe it on his uniform following an RBI single off the bat of Albert Pujols. Mike Wilner and Ben Wagner on Sportnet’s the Fan 590 also wondered if something had happened in warm-ups, or even earlier in the week, as there didn’t appear to be a play that the contusion could have happened during Sanchez’s brief outing. We’ll likely learn more in the coming days, and it’s possible the Blue Jays don’t even know at this point.
Sanchez threw 25 pitches overall, just 12 of them for strikes, departing at the end of the first inning, handing the ball over to Joe Biagini, who would toss two frames of scoreless ball, striking out two.
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On the season, Sanchez is 3-5 with an ERA of 4.35, appearing in 14 games and tossing 79.2 innings. He’s struck out 68 and has walked 46.
At this point, any speculation on the severity of Sanchez’s injury would be virtually futile, seeing as it could or could not be related to his injuries last season. It’s worth noting that while the major blister that plagued Sanchez last year was on his right hand, it was on his middle finger, not the bruised index finger that knocked him out of his start Thursday.
As many were quick to note, this injury throws a wrench into many pressing roster decisions that the front office will face heading into the month of July. With the team falling behind in the playoff hunt and the injuries piling up, it’s possible this team could look a lot different come August.
Regardless of what it means for the team, let’s hope this injury isn’t too serious, as a healthy Aaron Sanchez could be the key to this team’s success, both in the long term and in the short term.