Jays From the Couch brings you the player Highlights & Lowlights from the 2017 season. This time: Aaron Sanchez
Aaron Sanchez’s season left much to be desired. When I chose to write about his highlights and lowlights of 2017 I joked that his biggest highlights of the season were his West Jet commercials. The biggest decision then was to choose which of the commercials was the true highlight. There was the obvious choice, “Aaron Sanchez in the Dugout” featuring the adorable puppy, “Aaron Sanchez in the Stands” with a close up where you can clearly see him reading the teleprompter, “Aaron Sanchez in an Ice Bath,” and also the awkward “Aaron Sanchez at a Hotdog Stand.”
I ran a Twitter poll and my followers decided his best commercials were in the dugout and in the ice bath. While this initial pitch of writing about the commercials being highlights was a joke, it’s not far from the truth. There were not very many appearances from him this season and they were the most fans at home saw of him.
In all honesty, even as a huge Sanchez fan, I’m having a hard time thinking of highlights for the 2017 season. Aaron’s only win of the season came on Friday July 14th. He was able to pitch 6 innings, allowing 0 earned runs. It was a good outing, but also his second to last of the season. Sanchez also had his bobblehead giveaway day, on July 9th (which we lost 19-1), where his mom threw the first pitch to him and 20,000 people went home with an Aaron Sanchez bobblehead. I was at this game and it was so nice to see the crowd appreciating him even though he had been having such a tough season.
The overall pattern of the season was going on the DL with a blister, coming back for a single outing, then returning to the DL with an even worse blister. Sanchez’s obvious lowlight of the season was his constant blister problems. No matter what he did the blister would return, having part of his nail removed only lead to the rest of the nail cracking, there was no winning.
He only made 8 starts with 5 of them being 5.1 innings or less (the shortest being only 1 inning). One of the easiest ways to see the lowlights of 2017 would be comparing his numbers to 2016. With his 3.00 ERA from 2016 rising to 4.25, and his 192 innings pitched falling to 36 you can tell it just was not his season. With the ultimate lowlight being he was shut down for the remainder of the season on September 10th. Although none of us expected him to return this season, this really took away any glimmer of hope we had.
While he had a sad season, one of my personal highlights was bumping into him downtown Toronto. He was incredibly nice, took out his headphones to talk to me, and took the time for a photo with me. I told him to get his finger better and that I look forward to seeing him next season.
As fans, all we can do is hope that he figures out how to take care of the blister over the offseason, and hope the MLB decides to change the baseballs so we don’t have to watch all of our pitchers stare at a red spot on their finger as their outing is called to an end. I have high hopes that in 2018 Aaron’s numbers will return to the quality of his 2016 season.
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Ashley is a recent graduate of Communication Studies at McMaster University, with a post grad in Communication Media Practices from Mohawk College. She has been watching the Blue Jays since 2015, and has fallen in love with the game and everyone that plays it. Her goal is to break into the Sports Journalism world so she can cover her Toronto teams for a living.