The Blue Jays have placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day DL with a right middle finger laceration. This was one of several roster moves announced (Twitter links) by the team, a list that also notably included catcher Russell Martin returning from the DL, Kevin Pillar returning from a two-game suspension, catcher Mike Ohlman being designated for assignment, outfielder Dwight Smith being optioned to Triple-A and righty Cesar Valdez receiving a promotion from Triple-A to the Major League roster.
[Updated Blue Jays depth chart at Roster Resource]
This is already Sanchez’s third DL stint of the season due to his bothersome finger, as Sanchez has also battled a blister and a split nail. The right-hander made two starts since his most recent return, including a quality start last night against the Orioles (six IP, three ER, 93 pitches). Sanchez said he felt “a little pain” (as per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith) after last night’s outing, and a few drips of blood were spotted in his first start back, a five-inning outing against the Mariners on May 14. Manager John Gibbons told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm and other reporters that Sanchez’s latest DL stint is due to a recurrence of the blister.
Sanchez has performed well (3.33 ERA in 24 1/3 IP) when he has been able to take the mound, though peripheral metrics hint that he has been a little fortunate. His ERA indicators (4.92 FIP, 4.73 xFIP, 4.74 SIERA) are well above his actual ERA, and his grounder rate is down to 40%, well below his 56% career average. Still, it’s hard to really evaluate Sanchez properly given the stop-and-start nature of his season. Of all the injury woes that have plagued the Jays this season, Sanchez’s could be the most frustrating given the seemingly minor yet potentially long-lasting nature of blister injuries. Gibbons said the Jays “want to knock it [the blister] out” to keep it from becoming a long-term problem for Sanchez, which would imply that Sanchez won’t be back until he and the club are completely certain that he is healed.
Martin is back after missing slightly more than the minimum 10 days while dealing with a nerve problem in his left shoulder. The catcher bounced back from a terrible start to go on a hot streak just prior to his DL stint, and Martin has a .197/.365/.342 slash line over 96 plate appearances.
Ohlman was called up in the wake of Martin’s injury to back up Luke Maile, allowing the 26-year-old Ohlman to make his Major League debut after nine pro seasons. Ohlman appeared in five games with the Jays (collecting his first two MLB hits in the process) after posting a .260/.348/.395 slash line over 2645 career PA in the minors with the Jays, Cardinals and Orioles organizations.