The Toronto Blue Jays should move a struggling Aaron Sanchez to the bullpen, but they have few other options
The Toronto Blue Jays are in an awful position. I’m not talking about being 20+ games below .500 and in 4th place in the American League East. I’m talking about where they find themselves with regards to the enigma that is Aaron Sanchez. In a year where they are not expected to compete and could look to move players of value for future talent, the 27 year old Sanchez is not helping them out.
After another disappointing outing against the Royals, Sanchez currently sits at 3-11. Sure, wins and losses don’t really tell the whole story, but if you’re Ross Atkins, you don’t really want the whole story getting out there. Because it is the stuff of the Brothers Grimm. Heading into Sunday’s start, Sanchez was the (not so) proud owner of a 5.89 ERA (remember when he led the AL in that stat?), 69 strike outs in 84 innings and well on his way to setting a new personal record for walks. If you’re one of those who don’t put that much stock in ERA as it doesn’t account for everything, you should know that his FIP entering Sunday’s game was 5.52.
If Toronto is actually going to consider dealing the once untouchable pitcher, they’re going to need him to turn things around quickly, if it isn’t too late already. As an aside, can anyone else picture Scott Boras looking through paperwork to see if HE can fire a client? Not that he would, of course, but you have to think that he’s feeling some sort of regret now that Sanchez may not lead to the payday he once thought he would.
Regardless of what happens to Sanchez, and how long he stays in Toronto, the Blue Jays are kind of stuck running him out to start games. It wasn’t long ago that we were debating whether or not Sanchez should be a bullpen arm. Funny how history repeats itself. Here we are face to face with the same conversation. And, the answer to this question is making itself more and more clear. Aaron Sanchez should be moved to the bullpen. It’s something that manager, Charlie Montoyo, isn’t ruling out, but is hesitant to pull the trigger on. He says he believes in Sanchez, and he may, but you can bet that he’s being told to keep him in a starter’s role. If a crappy 2019 season is going to lead to anything, it is fetching a nice return for Sanchez (and others). Moving him to the bullpen diminishes his return. So, Montoyo is stuck.
The club is also stuck because the rotation is a flaming hot mess. Even the indescribably bad Edwin Jackson is on the IL (honestly, is anyone upset about this?). So, the starting rotation is that much thinner. That is not even mentioning Clayton Richard, who hasn’t seen a WHIP of 1.00 in any game in over a month. You may have forgotten about Ryan Borucki who looks to be nearing a return date, but is still a few weeks out. There are precious few options at the moment.
Now, JFtC’s own, Karen Soutar, points out that the club could run out the following rotation: Marcus Stroman/ Trent Thornton/ Sean Reid-Foley/ Thomas Pannone/Richard. That COULD work, and probably wouldn’t be much worse than having Sanchez in it, but if it isn’t worse, then it is likely the same, which means that Sanchez’ trade value is the determining factor.
If that is the case, you can bet Blue Jays management will look to keep Aaron Sanchez in the starting rotation. After all, wins and losses don’t matter (clearly) this year. With Boras as his agent, and the lats two years being completely useless, the Toronto Blue Jays will be looking to try and get every last drop of talent out of Sanchez in the hopes that they get something – anything- for him.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.