Two years ago, we were arguing about whether we would be better off with Aaron Sanchez in the Blue Jays rotation or the Blue Jays bullpen.
The Jays choose rotation, and, for 2016, was a very good decision. He made 30 starts, pitched 192 innings, led the AL in ERA and finished 7th in Cy Young voting. He was terrific.
Last year we were hoping he’d build on that excellent season.
In his first start, he went 7 innings, allowed just 4 hits, 1 earned, with 3 walks and struck out 6. Life was good. It didn’t stay good for long.
It would turn out that Aaron would only make 8 starts, due to troubles with blisters and troubles with blister remedies. It reminded me of Al Leiter, which is a scary thought. Al spent years battling blister troubles, I’m hoping Aaron figures a solution much quicker.
SB Nation asked us to pick our ‘key player’ for their 2018 baseball preview. Aaron Sanchez was my choice. His loss last year, among all the injuries we had, was the one that cost us the most, in my opinion (Devon Travis was a close second). I think, if Aaron had been able to pitch, we’d have had some moments above the .500 mark, at the very least.
He had an excellent spring. 3.05 ERA, 2 walks, 16 strikeouts in 17.2 innings, but I’m sure everyone was too busy watching to see if he favored his hand at all to notice how he was throwing. I saw a note that, after his last spring start, no reporter asked about his hands.
Let’s hope it is all in his past now.
I’ll admit Sanchez is a favorite of mine, but I’ve always been a sucker for pitchers who can throw hard and can match it with a great curve. He seems like a good guy (from the outside). I think I could do without his ‘acting’ in commercials, but I never begrudge a person from making money. And Aaron is still a few years from free agency money.
I really don’t care about whether Sanchez and Stroman are best buddies or not. I can imagine that hanging out with the same people for several months, in clubhouse sized rooms, can cause frictions at times. There are personalities that I have a hard time dealing with, if you forced me into an enclosed space with some of them, I’m sure I’d want to be away.
I think competition between Sanchez and Stroman is good thing. Friendly competition is fine, less friendly competition is fine too. If both Sanchez and Stroman are healthy, I can’t see that any team in the AL has a better pair of starters.
PECOTA predicts a 4.49 ERA in 23 starts. That seems pretty pessimistic to me. ZiPS has his at a 3.85 ERA in 26 starts.
If the over/under for innings for Sanchez is 165 I’d take the
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