Aaron Sanchez hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 21, so naturally, the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander was itching to satisfy his competitive urges. He got the chance on Monday night as he continued his rehab assignment with a start in double-A.
Sanchez, recovering from a right index finger contusion, was steady in his previous outing at single-A, but toed the rubber for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in his latest appearance. The team owns a .561 win percentage, best in the Eastern League, and on Monday were facing an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
On the mound for the Portland Sea Dogs was fellow major leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez, who’s also on a rehab stint.
“He came in and wanted to take a step forward with the competitiveness at this level, compared to A-ball,” said Fisher Cats manager John Schneider Tuesday on The Jeff Blair Show. “He went after it the way he should.”
Sanchez ultimately allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits over 4.1 innings. He walked four, struck out four and threw 42 strikes out of 86 pitches. Though Sanchez was outpitched by Rodriguez, who spun four shutout innings of one-hit ball, Schneider was pleased.
“He came out of it feeling fine,” Schneider told host Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. “He threw way better than what his linescore looks like. Doing what he does, getting a lot of ground balls, not a lot of balls hit hard. Probably a couple balls that should have been double plays that weren’t quite turned.”
The next step for Sanchez could be the Rogers Centre mound this Saturday, as the Blue Jays are apparently considering recalling the 26-year-old to face the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sanchez, who has been limited to just 15 MLB games this season, owns a 4.52 ERA and 1.506 WHIP over 79.2 innings.
Schneider also spoke about the Blue Jays’ decision to give infield prospect Cavan Biggio reps in the outfield and offered updates on Fisher Cats teammates Bo Bichette and T.J. Zeuch.