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Blue Jays move prospect Aaron Sanchez to bullpen in Triple-A; majors the next step?

Jul 17, 2014, 9:01 PM EST

Aaron Sanchez AP AP

Aaron Sanchez is considered the Blue Jays’ top pitching prospect, but the team appears prepared to give him his first taste of the majors in a relief role.

Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590 The Fan passes along word that the Blue Jays have moved Sanchez to the bullpen with Triple-A Buffalo. The thought is that he could be promoted to the Blue Jays within 10 days.

Sanchez, a supplemental first-round pick from 2010, has posted a 3.94 ERA and 82/57 K/BB ratio over 98 1/3 innings this season between Double- and Triple-A. The 22-year-old right-hander has never thrown more than 90 1/3 innings in a season in pro ball prior to 2014, so the Blue Jays are looking to protect his workload. A short-term move to the bullpen might be the best way to accomplish that, especially given the team’s needs at the major league level. Blue Jays relievers are 27th in the majors this season with a 4.39 ERA.

  1. canadiansportsfan77 - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    This seems like signs of panic with the Jays right now. They were supposed to let him work away in AA this yr to refine his control and just generally improve, now they moved him to AAA early in the yr and are now eyeing him in the MLB BP.

    • thatsnuckinfuts - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Works for the Cardinals

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:23 AM

        It has worked very well for the Cardinals and other teams. In the good old days, it was quite normal for young pitchers to get their first taste of the big leagues in the bullpen. Daniel Norris who is presently in Double A is also a candidate to pitch in the pen in September.

  2. bronco58lb - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Unfortunately for his development, that patience seems to go by the wayside during a pennant race. The GM/baseball ops start drooling over his stuff and start figuring how they can use it to impact the big club.

    • dan1111 - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:28 AM

      Where is the evidence that this will harm his development? Many pitchers have done this quite successfully, and as noted, it will serve the development need of limiting his innings.

      • bronco58lb - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        Bad choice of words on my part. I am a fan of the move. I love seeing the stud pitcher (Pedro Martinez in 1993, Roy Oswalt in 2001) getting his start in the pen.

  3. paint771 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Don’t forget the Jays followed the same route with Stroman. I don’t think he was considered by most to be a candidate for the Jays rotation in June, but they brought him up as a reliever early, he got knocked around pretty good, they sent him down very briefly to stretch him back out and then slotted him right in to the starting 5. And, since then, he’s been as good as anybody.

    Of course he was always considered pretty close to MLB ready (as a reliever, generally), but still, given their recent success with Stroman (and Hutchinson for that matter) it’s not entirely crazy.

    In any event I think it probably says less about AA’s feelings regarding Sanchez’s readiness than it does about AA’s feelings regarding giving up good prospects for a starter. I have a feeling, either through his hands being tied by Rogers or just based on his own nose-curdling at the trade market right now, that the Jays are basically tied to in-house options and AA’s wagon is hitched to the roster and farm system as presently constructed. I strongly suspect, Jeff Samardzija and Ben Zobrist rumors aside, that the Jays stand basically pat at the trade deadline and just noodle around the edges with utility types or reclamation projects and a lot of charter shuttles to and from Buffalo.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:15 AM

      There is probably not much available at the trade deadline at a reasonable price. The Jays do need bullpen help. Sanchez does need to have his innings limited. His control problems seem to have been improved by a change in his arm slot. The idea makes a lot of sense. Since he is not on the 40 man roster, someone will have to be designated for assignment in order to make room for him.

  4. garybrian2014 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    This team needs someone who can hit the damn ball and play solid defence. The pitching hasn’t been that bad. But with basically no hitting from the bottom of the order, the pitchers have to be perfect and you can’t pitch that way constantly and have a chance to win!

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