I’m not suggesting that Aaron Sanchez has been the worst player on the Blue Jays’ roster, but I felt like including him in my top-five list. His has been one of the “worst” seasons for the Blue Jays for a few different reasons other than his underperformance.
Once again, Sanchez has struggled with familiar issues with his pitching hand. Last season it was a variety of blisters, fingernail issues, and eventually tendon problems that sidelined him for half of the campaign, and after he’d only made eight starts in 2017. This season he’s had blister and fingernail problems again, but thankfully they haven’t forced him to the injured list, at least not yet.
I would think that they’re at least partially to blame for his disappointing performance overall though, as he’s looked to avoid the recurring issue and hasn’t been able to focus solely on pitching. The right-hander is well aware that he’s going to be a free agent after the 2020 season and will need to re-establish his reputation from back when he led the AL in ERA in 2016, but so far he’s done anything but that this year.
He’s currently carrying a record of 3-8 with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.600 WHIP through 15 starts and 75 innings pitched. That’s hardly what the Blue Jays were hoping for in order to help their team in this season, but it also doesn’t help his value on the trade market, where he’s expected to end up this summer as the Blue Jays continue their rebuild.
I’ve always believed in his talent and his upside, but it’s getting harder to buy in to the idea that he’ll ever be able to reclaim the potential he showed a few years ago. For that frustrating reason, I included him on this list, although I acknowledge he’s far from the worst offender.