ANAHEIM, Calif. – Aaron Sanchez left Thursday night’s start against the Los Angeles Angels after one inning with a contusion on his right index finger, throwing a big question mark into the Toronto Blue Jays’ upcoming roster plans.
Already they have three moves to make in the coming days with Steve Pearce to be activated from the disabled list and Sam Gaviglio to be returned from paternity leave Friday, and Marcus Stroman to return from the DL on Saturday, which was also to bump someone from the rotation.
Before the game, manager John Gibbons said slumping lefty Jaime Garcia “could end up in the bullpen” and added that the Blue Jays “are just trying to figure all that out right now.”
Uncertainty with Sanchez only adds another layer of uncertainty to the mix, as the Blue Jays are already TBA for Sunday, which is Garcia’s day, but could go to Gaviglio.
“If he does end up (in the bullpen), it might help him to get going a little bit,” Gibbons said of Garcia. “He might turn into a situational or valuable guy down there. If that happens. Also thought too, bouts of wildness, at least you can protect him coming out of the ‘pen a little bit. If it hits him, you can get him out of there. But it’s still up in the air.”
Sanchez missed most last season with blisters and related issues on his right middle finger and it wasn’t immediately clear if his troubles Thursday were in a similar vein. A contusion is, essentially, a bruise and Sanchez was seen looking at his finger after an RBI single by Albert Pujols.
The Blue Jays said X-rays were negative but the matter may still derail the club’s hopes of having its rotation intact again with Stroman’s looming return.
“They’ve been pitching pretty good lately,” Gibbons said of his starters, pre-game. “That’s the group you envision. It’ll be good to get Stro back. How he does right out of the chutes, I don’t know. He probably still has to build up a little bit. But he’s a big part of this. If he’s pitching good, we’ll be that much better.”
Either way the Blue Jays will need to send out a couple of players Thursday to make room for Pearce and Gaviglio and one school of thought had Lourdes Gurriel Jr., called up to cover Gaviglio’s pat leave, remaining on the roster. If that happens, seldom used infielder Gio Urshela could find himself an odd man out.
Joe Biagini, who took over from Sanchez, and Preston Guilmet appear to be the likeliest candidates as the counter moves for Gaviglio and Stroman.