BOSTON – Aaron Sanchez landed on the disabled list Sunday and will miss a second straight start as the Toronto Blue Jays are exercising caution with an injury they described as a lat strain.
Scott Copeland, who threw seven innings of one-run ball last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins while filling in for the young right-hander, will be recalled Monday to pitch Tuesday night against the New York Mets.
Sanchez’s placement on the DL is retroactive to June 6 making him eligible to return June 21, just in time for that spot’s next turn in the rotation. Whether he’s ready for that outing or not wasn’t immediately clear, and in standard practice, he was sent off to the club’s facilities in Dunedin, Fla., for tests.
“It’s just the right move, smart move, get rid of it,” said manager John Gibbons.
Sanchez pitched into the ninth inning during his last outing June 5 against Houston, and when the normal pitcher soreness didn’t ebb as quickly as it usually does, the Blue Jays decided to skip his spot with what the team called upper body soreness.
The plan was for him to rest and then return against the Mets, but Sanchez didn’t throw a side session, although he did throw multiple times.
In an interview Saturday, he said the soreness is “on its way out,” but when asked about his potential throwing progression, he replied, “we haven’t gotten in depth on what we’re going to do.
The plan, he explained, is to “just kind of play it by ear, I’m on whatever they tell me to do. It’s one of those things where I come in and say, ‘This is what we got today, and go from there.’”
The lat, or latissimus dorsi, is one of the body’s largest muscles, stretching from under the shoulder blade down toward the hip. It helps manoeuvre the arm into the body and rotate the shoulder, and the risk in pitching through it is that it would cause him to alter his mechanics, putting extra strain on other parts of his arm.
Sanchez is 5-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 11 starts, logging 66 innings, pretty much half his total of 133.1 last year between the Blue Jays, double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo.
TRAVIS REHAB: Devon Travis, on the DL since May 17 with left shoulder inflammation, will start a rehab assignment with double-A New Hampshire on Monday.
The rookie second baseman was batting .271/.336/.504 in 36 games at the time of his injury. He was struck on the left collarbone by a Brandon Moss one-hopper in Cleveland on May 3 and struggled through the injury for nearly two weeks before his compensation for it led to his shoulder trouble.
SHORT HOPS: Prospect Matt Boyd allowed two runs, one earned, over seven innings in his triple-A debut as the Buffalo Bisons fell 2-1 to Charlotte. The left-hander allowed six hits, no walks and struck out eight. … Infielder Steve Tolleson (groin) didn’t play Sunday for Buffalo after seven innings in the field on rehab the previous night, when he wasn’t moving well.