Blue Jays: How the 2019 rotation stacks up heading to Dunedin
Pitching 106 innings last year was definitely an increase from his 36 in 2017, but it’s not what the Blue Jays envisioned when Aaron Sanchez won the American League ERA crown in 2016 as a 23 year old.
He was finally giving the Blue Jays steady innings after a blister filled 2017 and another finger problem came about, much more freakish than a blister though. On their road trip to Anaheim in June he got his finger caught in his suitcase and missed 52 games.
Despite this, he closed the season out with three solid starts including a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox where he went seven strong, allowing one earned run and striking out six. He had surgery on September 25th to fix his right index finger that caused his blister problems in the past. He recently told John Lott of the Athletic that the problem is gone after the surgery and it feels back to normal, also mentioning it felt so wrong for so long, that it feels weird now that it is “right” again.
Sanchez could see his fastball get it’s velocity back after going down a tic, and will look to lead this young team as he hopes to put his injury troubles behind him. When he’s at the top of his game he’s incredibly good at keeping the ball on the ground and with the influx of top infield prospects on the way, a return to his 2016 form could potentially land Sanchez an extension in Toronto with free agency looming after the 2020 season.