What a difference a year makes. A year ago, I seemed to be spending half my time in argument about whether Aaron Sanchez should be a starter or a reliever.
Some of it was understandable worry about our bullpen. We didn’t go into the season exactly thrilled with the makeup of the pen. Some of it was a feeling that a good reliever is as valuable as a starter. Some of it was that he didn’t overwhelm in 11 starts in 2015.
I don’t think anyone will be arguing that he should be a reliever this year.
Aaron led the league in ERA and was 6th in FIP. He also gave up the fewest home runs per 9 innings. That’s pretty good for a guy who relied on one pitch 75% of the time (I tend to think that he’s going to have to use his other pitches more in the future, but I’ll leave that up to the team).
The biggest controversy of his season was whether the team should limit his innings or not. He ended up starting 30 games and throwing 192 innings, after 92 innings the season before. They did have him skip a couple of starts, which kept him under 200 innings.
I have a hard time believing that skipping a couple of starts would be the difference between a healthy arm and surgery, but he finished the season strong, holding batters to a .194/.293/.343 line in his 5 September starts. Personally, I would have preferred if the Jays had taken him out of games quicker when we had a big lead.
There were several games where we had a big lead, which could have safely been handed over to the bullpen, but we seemed to want to wait until Aaron had thrown his 100 pitches before removing him. You’d think, if you were interested in saving his arm, you wouldn’t want to run his arm to fatigue in games which are already decided.
This year we shouldn’t be hearing as much about limiting his innings (though the blister troubles he was having in yesterday’s game might do a good job of limiting his innings).
He didn’t have a great spring. I’d imagine he’ll figure things out quick enough. PECOTA figures him to start 29 games, have a 4.23 ERA in 174 innings. ZiPS is far more optimistic, 31 starts, 3.35 ERA in 196 innings. I’d guess closer to the ZiPS, but I’m an optimist. Bovada.lv puts the over/under on his ERA at 3.25.
If the over/under on Aaron Sanchez ERA is 3.25 I would take the
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