After battling for a spot in the rotation in Spring Training, the Blue Jays pitcher has been rewarded with an All-Star Game appearance.
Despite not getting the resulted he wanted on the field this afternoon, Aaron Sanchez received a victory of sorts. The Blue Jays right-hander was announced as an injury replacement selection for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in San Diego.
— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2016
Despite Marco Estrada facing doubts about his health for the exhibition contest, Sanchez represents the AL at the expense of an enemy. Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel was scratched from the game on Saturday. Kimbrel will be out 3-6 weeks after undergoing left knee surgery for a meniscus tear.
For Sanchez, it’s a just reward for a fine first half. The 24-year-old posted a 9-1 record with 2.97 ERA, and a 103 K/37 BB ratio in 113.1 innings pitched. Not bad for someone who was battling for a rotation job in Spring Training. His future will be in question as the team assembles after the break to push toward the playoffs. How much longer Sanchez remains in the starting rotation is something we’ll keep our eye on as the summer progresses. But, his early performances have given little reason to think that he can’t handle starting. Whether or not he can maintain that All Star form for the whole season appears to have been in doubt, at least on the part of the organization.
But, for right now, all of that gets set aside and Sanchez gets to enjoy the break in San Diego. His teammates celebrated the accomplishment.
— Devon Travis (@DeVoTrAv) July 9, 2016
My guy going to the All-Star game. Love it! @A_Sanch41
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 9, 2016
Sanchez joins fellow Blue Jays Estrada, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders in San Diego. It’s the first time the Blue Jays have had five All-Stars since 2006, when Toronto sent Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Troy Glaus and the immortal B.J. Ryan to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, where they contributed to the AL’s 3-2 win. Ryan picked up the victory and Glaus scored the winning run in that game, so hopefully the current Blue Jays are ready to contribute in a similar manner.
There could be another Blue Jays pitcher yet to come. J.A. Happ is a strong candidate to be named as a replacement once all the Sunday pitchers are ruled out of the contest. Time will tell if Canadian baseball fans will have a bumper crop of players to cheer on Tuesday.
*Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III-flickr- cropped form original UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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