The Blue Jays will promote top prospect Aaron Sanchez to join their bullpen today, sources tell Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. The right-handed starter had been moved to the bullpen at Triple-A recently to prepare him for the role in the Majors, though he made just two relief appearances before this promotion.
Sanchez, 22, ranked as the game’s No. 32 prospect on Baseball America’s pre-season Top 100. He ranked 31st on Baseball Prospectus’ version of the same list and 23rd on MLB.com’s Top 100. Sanchez has had a bit of a down season, causing him to fall off of the midseason edition of BA’s Top 50 prospects. However, BP wasn’t as swayed by his regression and upped his ranking to No. 29 on their midseason list (though as they note, given the number of prospects that have been promoted ahead of him, the ranking is actually a bit of a step back).
In 100 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this season, Sanchez has a 3.95 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9. As BP’s Chris Mellen notes in his write-up of Sanchez on BP’s midseason list (subscription required and recommended), he consistently teases the Blue Jays by showing front-of-the-rotation stuff but with heavily inconsistent fastball command. As a result, the “clear-headed line of sight” points to a mid-rotation role for Sanchez, Mellen writes. Prior to the season BA praised his ability to induce grounders with his fastball as well as the tilt and depth of his potentially plus curveball. They did note, however, that when pitching from the stretch in 2013, he walked more hitters than he struck out. Sanchez’s changeup has potential to be a third average-or-better offering as well, per MLB.com’s scouting report.
If Sanchez is at the Major League level to stay, he would accumulate 70 days of service time through season’s end, which would leave him well shy of attaining Super Two status. Recent reports have indicated that the Blue Jays are looking for bullpen help, but if Sanchez can solidify a relief role, he could be an alternative to making a trade.
Sanchez has also seen his name mentioned in trade rumors pertaining to starting pitching additions, but GM Alex Anthopoulos has shown a strong resistance to moving Sanchez’s lofty ceiling. Sanchez’s name was frequently brought up in possible Jeff Samardzija trades — alongside lefty Daniel Norris and center fielder Dalton Pompey — before “Shark” was ultimately dealt to Oakland.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Likely rushed because Rogers clamped the purse strings.
I wouldn’t call it “rushing”. He was likely headed for a September call-up/starting next season with the team.
I don’t exactly know why, but it reminds me of the callup of Drabek in 2010 at age 22. Drabek had a better minors ERA, though no innings in AAA yet. Both are high-ceiling guys with control/command issues, and Drabek was unable to figure it out in the bigs. I hope Sanchez in the pen will be able to focus more on each batter and get some experience, but I sure wish he could throw a half season in the minors with a good BB/9 ratio first.
Drabek had no innings in AAA before being called up because the Jays refused to send top pitching prospects to Las Vegas while they were affiliated (for good reason). Drabek was also forced on the 40 man roster due to minor league service time, and needed to be used.
Drabek and Sanchez are not similar anyhow, as Sanchez throws in the mid to high 90’s, whereas Drabek never really did (and definitely currently doesn’t). Also one should not judge a player’s minor league performance based on ERA solely.
Fact of the matter is that Sanchez is one of the Jays best pitchers and he needs to be on the active roster helping in any way he can.
Not rushed at all. Guy has a nasty arm that can conceivably help any pen. Not to mention, clamped purse strings can still acquire relief help if need be.
Edit: In addition, Sanchez was likely going to be shut down for the season in 25-30 innings, so he may as well throw these innings trying to help the big league bullpen.
I know he is supposed to have good raw tools, but he’s only struck out 84/435 (19%) batters faced this season in AA/AAA. It’s decent, but combined with the 1.44 WHIP he doesn’t strike me as a guy ready to join a big league bullpen outside of mop up duty.
And he is replacing Brad Mills in Mop Up Duty, so your wish has been granted. Also…. scouting the stat line will only get you so far….
…especially when you are trying to convert starter’s numbers into relievers…
Preciously, the guy had an issue in the minors of trying to strikeout every guy and couldn’t go more then 4-5 innings because of that alone. He said the organization told him to learn to pitch to contact and he’s been trying that for the last year or so.
Let’s hope for this move to excel because Rogers tight purse is really a morale killer for a team that 1 month ago was 14 games above .500.
Outside the Crease
Not rushed, this is exactly how STL handled Wacha
And Wacha didn’t have control issues, so I fail to see how the two cases are comparable.
I’m sure you can find a way to compare the cases.
They’re both male and can throw a ball very fast. Good enough for me!
I knew it could be done!
They both have three A’s in their name!
Outside the Crease
Young/high potential power arm brought up to help in the bullpen? You
don’t see how that’s comparable? odd
I fail to see how the comparison makes any sense when my original argument was Sanchez is being rushed. He never has shown a resemblance of a guy who can control his stuff. Wacha never has had control issues.
Yes, both were put in the pen to start their MLB careers, but Wacha didn’t show signs of being rushed.
Last time I checked in a small sample size this spring he pitched quite well before the season started. His composure looked great against the Mets in Montreal…just give the guy a chance.
Hopefully Sanchez can help the squad out, and can get off on the right foot on the way to a long and successful career!
Bye bye Brad Mills?
Brad Mills was a sure shot DFA as soon as he gave up the first two runs he gave up last night. He then proceeded to give up 6 more. All in under 3 IP. Later Mills!
After last night, safe bet
Pretty sure it wasn’t “his elevated ERA” that swayed BA to lower his ranking. I’d say it was this – 5.1 BB/9IP. These types of hard throwers with no command are frequently overrated as prospects.
Sanchez likely getting the Marcus Stroman treatment…get some innings in the pen, then promoted to the rotation. My guess is they’ll make the move once Brandon Morrow returns, since he may be in the pen as well.
Probably not this year, but otherwise, yeah. Sanchez doesn’t have many innings left in the tank this year.
I think it all depends where they want to cap his innings. He’s at 100 now which is already his most. The Jays aren’t going to trade for a front end starter, so you’re looking at either Redmond, Sanchez or Morrow if someone in the rotation was to be replaced. I’m going to assume they are going to give Morrow the first chance when he returns.
Expecting anything from Brandon Morrow at this point is as futile as thinking the Jays were actually going to make an impact trade before everything started falling apart.
Those aren’t the only three options, but I definitely don’t see Sanchez getting a start until September when his innings/pitch count has already been more or less locked in.
Of course they’re not the only 3, you have guys like Hendriks, Nolin and even other options but I would think they would go to those 3 first if needed.
A jays scout said he reminded him of Chris Carpenter when he was in the minors. I looked up Carp’s stats and he also had control issues in the minors…so I’ll cling to that!
He also had to get out of Toronto in order to have success, and was a late bloomer as well.
The fact that he was injured a lot heavily factored into that as well.
Done because Drew Hutchison is tiring in his first year back from TJ. They can’t continue to put him out there every five days.
Can’t wait for him to display filthy stuff.
And earn the nickname Dirty Sanchez.