Toronto Blue Jays: When Will Aaron Sanchez Return?

Toronto Blue Jays: When Will Aaron Sanchez Return?

If ever one game highlighted how much trouble the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff is in, it was the final game before the All-Star break. Starter Felix Doubront gave up six runs in the first inning, and the team as a whole allowed 15 hits, on the way to a 11-10 defeat by the Kansas City Royals.

Seriously, how often do you score 10 runs in a game and still lose? Unfortunately, this scenario is no surprise, given how poorly the Blue Jays have pitched this season (with the exception of June).

Of course, this has led to different ideas about what the Blue Jays should do, with my colleague David Morassutti calling for Alex Anthopoulos to make a deal as soon as possible. On the flip, Williams Wilson believes we need to put a stop to all of this trade talk.

Personally, I’m in the former camp, but if Toronto do decide to stand pat, where is help going to come from? Well, one of the main candidates has to be Aaron Sanchez.

Jun 22, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have been without the 23-year old since mid-June, when he was placed on the disabled list (DL) with a right latissimus dorsi strain. The irony is that this move came on the back of arguably his best start of the campaign.

In that game, against the Houston Astros on June 5, Sanchez allowed just one earned run in eight innings. He then missed his next start, due to lingering soreness, before an MRI forced the decision to place him on the DL.

It’s fair to say the Barstow, California native has been one of the Blue Jays better performers in the starting rotation this season. In 11 starts, he has a 5-4 record, together with an ERA of 3.55.

With this in mind, and given how desperately the Blue Jays need him, when is Sanchez likely to return to the majors? Well, we may have an answer, courtesy of Sportsnet‘s Arden Zwelling.

As confirmed by Zwelling, Sanchez threw 50 pitches for Dunedin at the weekend. On the back of this, he has since reported to Buffalo, to continue his rehabilitation.

The plan is for the 2010 first round draft pick to make two starts for the Buffalo Bisons, on July 16 and 21. At this point, the Blue Jays will then decide whether he’s ready to rejoin the team.

Interestingly, there has been talk of bringing Sanchez back as a reliever, to boost the bullpen, while allowing him to ease back into action. However, as it stands, he is being rehabilitated as a starter.

Regardless of where he is placed, Toronto will just be happy to see the return of a pitcher ranked by MLB as the 44th-best prospect in baseball. Heading into the All-Star break, the Blue Jays are 23rd in the league with a 4.18 ERA, while allowing the ninth most hits and sixth most home runs.