Blue Jays notebook: Astros’ Hinch calls out Ken Giles

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ken Giles throws against the Boston Red Sox. (Fred Thornhill/CP)

TORONTO – Aaron Sanchez’s season is over and the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander is facing the possibility of surgery on his troubled index finger as he awaits an opinion from a third hand expert.

General manager Ross Atkins said Monday that the 26-year-old “asked for more information” about what was happening in his finger after his last start Sept. 18 at Baltimore, when he allowed four runs, two earned, in four innings of work.

That led to a visit with one West Coast specialist Friday and Atkins said Sanchez had again left the team for further consultations. When Sanchez rejoined the Blue Jays from the disabled list Aug. 22, Sanchez told reporters that “they said there was nothing structurally damaged” in the finger.

A surgery would likely mean he suffered damage to either the ligaments or tendons in the index finger.

“We’ll see,” said Atkins. “That’s what we’re in the process of gathering more information on. There is the potential of that.”

Sanchez injured himself just before a June 21 start at Anaheim when his finger got caught in the handle of a falling suitcase. He tried to pitch through it against the Angels but only made it through an inning due to swelling in the bottom third of the finger.

He subsequently went on the disabled list and missed 54 games while waiting for the finger to improve, and he had looked to turn a corner when he allowed one run over seven innings at Boston on Sept. 12, giving him back-to-back quality starts.

But after the outing against the Orioles, he was feeling “frustration” that he wasn’t getting better, said Atkins, and when asked if Sanchez had said there was pain in the area, the GM replied, “We had no signs of him experiencing more pain.”

Atkins described the possibility of surgery as “certainly less than ideal,” but added “we’re optimistic he’ll be 100 per cent in his return in 2019.”

Both Sanchez and the Blue Jays would welcome that after he missed almost all of 2017 due to blister issues and related complications on his right middle finger. A procedure that surgically removed a portion of his nail didn’t alleviate the problem early in the season and he subsequently damaged a ligament trying to spin the ball off the other side of the finger.

That injury didn’t require surgery, but this time he may not have been as fortunate.

HINCH CALLS OUT GILES:

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded angrily to recent comments made by Blue Jays closer Ken Giles, who told Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star he felt “trapped” and “out of place” in Houston, adding that “communication was lost.”

“I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him,” Hinch told reporters. “And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.”

SHORT HOPS:

Sean Reid-Foley will start Wednesday’s home finale for the Blue Jays, who will likely limit the right-hander to a couple of innings or so before going to the bullpen. The Astros will also go with a bullpen game. … Lourdes Gurriel Jr., playing against his brother Yulieski for the first time in the big-leagues, left the game in the bottom of the first with left hamstring tightness.

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