The D-Backs signed veteran right-hander Aaron Sanchez to a minor league deal, according to an announcement from their Triple-A club in Reno. He’s making his organizational debut with the Aces tonight.
Sanchez was released by the Twins a few weeks ago. The 31-year-old had spent the year with Minnesota’s top minor league club, working 73 innings over 18 appearances. Sanchez struggled to a 5.30 ERA with a modest 16.8% strikeout percentage and a massive 15.6% walk rate. That unsurprisingly wasn’t enough to crack a Minnesota rotation that has been one of the best in the majors.
While this year’s results are poor, Sanchez managed a solid 3.75 ERA in 13 Triple-A starts a season ago. He couldn’t carry that over in a few stints in Minnesota, where he surrendered a 6.60 ERA over 60 MLB frames. Sanchez has been up-and-down as a depth option for a few teams in recent seasons, settling in as a journeyman since winning the AL ERA title with the Blue Jays back in 2016. Sanchez’s velocity is down from those halcyon days due to intervening injuries, but he’s an experienced depth option who still induces a decent number of grounders.
Arizona has been in a free fall over the past six weeks. After leading the NL West for a good chunk of the first half, they’re 8-23 since the start of July. An ongoing seven-game losing streak has dropped them to 57-57, the first time they’ve been .500 since April 7.
An unsettled rotation behind Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly has been a big reason for that. Brandon Pfaadt and Ryne Nelson haven’t pitched well, while Zach Davies and Tommy Henry are on the injured list. With the deadline past, minor league deals of this ilk are the club’s clearest way to add rotation depth. Despite their dismal recent run, the D-Backs are still just two games back of the final National League Wild Card spot.