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Sanchez exits after 1 inning with finger injury

X-rays negative; issue unrelated to last season's blister problem
MLB.com @gregorMLB

ANAHEIM -- Aaron Sanchez has another finger injury to deal with, but the good news is that it's not the same blister issue that caused him to miss almost the entire 2017 season.

Sanchez left Thursday night's 8-5 loss to the Angels after one inning because of a contusion on his right index finger. He was sent for X-rays, which came back negative, but it's still too early to say whether Sanchez will miss a start or require a stint on the disabled list.

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ANAHEIM -- Aaron Sanchez has another finger injury to deal with, but the good news is that it's not the same blister issue that caused him to miss almost the entire 2017 season.

Sanchez left Thursday night's 8-5 loss to the Angels after one inning because of a contusion on his right index finger. He was sent for X-rays, which came back negative, but it's still too early to say whether Sanchez will miss a start or require a stint on the disabled list.

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The Blue Jays remained vague in the details of how the injury occurred. Sanchez said, "That's not important," when asked how it happened, but he did say he jammed his finger before arriving at Angel Stadium for his start.

"I just jammed my finger," Sanchez said after the game. "Swelling started to come. Right when I got here, I put some ice on it, figured I could pitch through it. The motion was still OK for me, enough to go. But every time I threw, it just got worse. There was no sense in staying out there."

Thursday's short start was frustrating for Sanchez on multiple levels. He was on a roll, having allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous three starts. He was finally rounding into form after a rough May, and now there's a risk that his upward trajectory will at least be put on hold.

Then there's the fact that Sanchez had this series circled on his calendar before the year even began. The 25-year-old grew up in nearby Barstow. He had lots of friends and family in town for the occasion, and the only other time he got to pitch in this ballpark was in 2015, when he tossed one inning out of the bullpen in a lopsided 12-5 win.

"When it first happened, I kind of just shook my hand and said, 'Ow,'" Sanchez said. "I didn't really think anything of it. I kept the motion going. I pulled on it just in case it did get jammed. I wanted to make sure I kept that motion and not have swelling creeping in there right away. When it first happened, I didn't really think anything of it. As the day kind of went on, it got worse."

The status of Sanchez's finger will have repercussions throughout the rest of the Blue Jays rotation. Marcus Stroman is set to return from the DL on Saturday afternoon, which initially meant the Blue Jays were going to have to remove someone from the rotation. That was going to be either Jaime Garcia or Sam Gaviglio, but it's now possible that both pitchers will stay right where they are.

Prior to Thursday's game, Garcia appeared to be the odd-man out, as manager John Gibbons talked openly about how the club was considering moving him to the bullpen. Garcia's status was put in limbo after his struggles continued during a recent outing against Atlanta. Garcia has managed to complete six innings just three times in 13 starts this season and he sports a 6.16 ERA thanks in large part to averaging 4.5 walks per nine innings.

"He banged it," Gibbons said when asked for a timeline. "I couldn't tell you any more than that."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Aaron Sanchez