As well as Canada’s birthday, today is also Aaron Sanchez’ birthday.
Sanchez turns 26 today. We’ve been talking about him for such a long time it seems like he should be older.
Sanchez was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, number 34, he was a supplemental pick for the loss of Marco Scutaro. The Blue Jays had already picked Deck McGuire and would pick Noah Syndergaard 38th and Asher Wojciechowski 41st that round. Alex was trying to gather every first round pick that he possible could back them. Sanchez is the last man standing for the Jays, as Asher was part of the trade that brought us J.A. Happ and Noah was part of the trade for R.A. Dickey.
Sanchez, Danny Barnes and Dalton Pompey are the Jays left from that draft year.
Sanchez was terrific coming up through our minor league system. He was on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list 3 times: #65 in 2013, #32 in 2014 and #27 in 2015.
He arrived in Toronto in late July of 2014, working as a kind of long setup man. He would pitch 1 to 3 innings in 24 games. He had a 1.09 ERA, with 3 saves, 7 holds, 2 wins and 2 losses.
In 2015 Aaron started the season in the rotation, made 10 starts, had some injury troubles, came back for one more start, missed another 3 weeks on the DL and was put into the pen upon his return. He was 5-4 with a 3.55 ERA as a starter and 2-2, with a 2.39 ERA with 10 holds as a reliever and we spent the offside in the perpetual debate of whether he should be a starter or a reliever. It was such a fun time.
2016 came and he showed he could a good starter. Aaron made 30 starts, led the AL in ERA with a 3.00, had a 15-2 record and it looked like he was on his way to a great career. He had 2 post season starts, one was terrible, against the Rangers, 6 earned in 5.2 innings and he got the win. One was great, 2 hits, 1 earned in 6 innings and he got the loss against Cleveland.
We looked forward to Aaron becoming the Ace we were looking for when we drafted 3 pitchers in the first round back in 2010. But 2016 was a mess of blister problems and blister remedy problems, and he’d only make 8 starts.
This season didn’t start great for Sanchez (or for most of our starters for that matter) but in June he seemed to get it figured out and, of course, now he is one the DL with a finger contusion. I’m hoping he’ll be back soon.
I’ll admit I’m a fan, I’m looking forward to watching his career. But, I’m hoping we aren’t subjected to too much more of his rather wooden acting in West Jet commercials (I say knowing I wouldn’t be any better at all).
I kind of relate to Aaron, I think he’s an introvert, which is a good way to describe me. He seems to be quiet and thoughtful, pretty much the opposite of Marcus Stroman (which isn’t to say I don’t like Marcus, but I have this feeling that if I got to spend a season in the Jays clubhouse, I’d likely gravitate to Aaron, while Marcus would drive me to drink. It takes all kinds to make up a team.).
Happy Birthday Aaron. I hope it is a good one and I hope you are back from the DL soon.