TUESDAY: The Astros have placed right-handed pitcher Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day injured list, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. As expected, he’ll be joined by injured shortstop Carlos Correa. Per McTaggart, manager A.J. Hinch said that Sanchez felt a sore right pectoral during Tuesday’s start, which resulted in a dip in velocity for the starter. A pair of corresponding roster moves will be announced tomorrow.
Following tonight’s game, Sanchez told reporters (including McTaggart) that the pectoral is not a new issue; rather, he’s been experiencing soreness for several starts dating back to his time in Toronto. He’s been trying to pitch through the injury, which finally manifested itself in the form of diminished velocity during Tuesday’s game.
With Sanchez on the shelf, the Astros will once again need to fill the fifth starter spot on the fly. Brad Peacock is at least a theoretical candidate to make a spot start, though it seems that the Astros are intent to keep Peacock in a bullpen role coming off of an injured list stint and the acquisitions of Sanchez and Zack Greinke. More likely would be to see Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, or Rogelio Armenteros make a return to the big league roster. All of those three are currently in the minors—that trio has combined to make twelve starts for the Major League club.
Sanchez, after falling out of favor with a Blue Jays organization for whom he was once an All-Star, has engineered an encouraging turnaround with his new club. While he’s made just four starts, his arrival to Houston has given way to important adjustments in his approach—almost certainly not a coincidence, given the Astros’ savvy in maximizing pitchers’ potential. While it’s far too early to draw conclusions about Sanchez’s reformation and viability, his acquisition has the early makings of one that could factor heavily into Houston’s postseason success.