TORONTO – Aaron Sanchez is being skipped a start because of what Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons described as “overall body soreness,” with Scott Copeland recalled from triple-A Buffalo to start in his place Wednesday afternoon against the Miami Marlins.
Sanchez, 22, has logged 66 innings over 11 starts for far this season and worked into the ninth during his last outing, a 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday in which he threw 103 pitches. He’ll now start Tuesday in New York against the Mets, to keep everyone else on the staff from having to pitch with two extra days of rest.
The Blue Jays have an off-day Thursday before heading to Boston for the start of a five-game road trip.
“He’s a little bit sore, overall soreness,” said Gibbons. “We can’t take a chance, back him off, one turn through the rotation and he’ll be fine. Just a precautionary thing. He’s a hard-working guy when he’s out there, there’s zero finesse to him, he’s chalking up some innings, went into the ninth inning the other day, he got a little fatigued, so we figured you can’t afford to lose him, so back him off a start, let Copeland make a start, and he’ll be good to go the next go-round.”
Asked where specifically Sanchez’s soreness was, Gibbons replied: “Overall body soreness. Some hockey injury, I’m not sure.”
The Blue Jays revamped their approach to handling the workload of their pitching staff last year, working in a spot starter at times to build in extra rest for their staff. And rather than follow strict innings caps, they adjust as needed based on how the pitcher is feeling.
Copeland, 27, has pitched in two games out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays this season, allowing two hits and two walks over three innings. At triple-A Buffalo, he’s posted a 1.97 ERA with 28 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 0.99 WHIP over 45.2 innings.
Infielder Munenori Kawasaki was optioned to the Bisons to make room for him on the roster.