Aaron Sanchez being able to make his start on Wednesday is a huge boost for a depleted rotation, but also to his value going forward.
After a couple of incredibly frustrating seasons dealing with blister, fingernail, and tendon issues on his pitching hand, Aaron Sanchez and the Blue Jays hoped that the 2019 season would finally bring good health.
Things had been going well in that department for the 26-year-old so far, at least until he had to be removed from his start last week with a developing blister issue. It was a familiar sight for Blue Jay fans and one that had many of us (myself included) believing that the talented right-hander would end up back on the injured list.
Thankfully and somewhat surprisingly, that didn’t happen as Sanchez was able to make his next scheduled start against the Red Sox last night. Not only that, he looked very strong and pitched six complete innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks against the defending World Series champions.
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This is obviously a huge lift for the Blue Jays, especially as they are already in need of depth in their rotation. Matt Shoemaker has been lost for the season to knee surgery, Clay Buchholz is back on the injured list, and we’ve yet to see Ryan Borucki or Clayton Richard so far this season. Thankfully Sanchez has been part of the group that includes Marcus Stroman and Trent Thornton who have taken their regular turn.
It goes far beyond that for Sanchez and the Blue Jays though, especially as the summer draws nearer. The native Californian won’t be a free agent until after next season, but there’s a very real chance that he could be on the trade market this summer, especially as the Blue Jays look to speed up their rebuild. Him having a healthy season will go a long way toward building his trade value, which would be very helpful for Ross Atkins and the front office if they look to deal him. His health has always been the biggest question mark, so his avoiding the IL is crucial right now in that regard as well.
As far as Sanchez is concerned, he has to be thrilled that he managed to avoid missing a start as well. He has the type of talent that he could have been (MAYBE still could be if he’s healthy until becoming a free agent) a nine-figure type of starter. That’s probably passed him by now, but he could still make himself a very rich man if he can stay healthy and produce over the next season and a half. As much as the Blue Jays would like to keep him on the mound, you know he wants to thrive even more.
Wednesday night was definitely a step in that right direction in that regard, especially because he was able to get through the outing with no visible setbacks. If he can shake off the blister scare and continue to make his regular starts, it will be a huge bonus for a number of reasons. Here’s hoping that’s exactly what happens.