MONTREAL -- Aaron Sanchez has been scratched from this weekend's previously scheduled Minor League start because of a blister but is still expected to be ready for his first big league outing of the regular season on April 8.Toronto opted to take a cautious approach with its prized right-hander and
MONTREAL -- Aaron Sanchez has been scratched from this weekend's previously scheduled Minor League start because of a blister but is still expected to be ready for his first big league outing of the regular season on April 8.
Toronto opted to take a cautious approach with its prized right-hander and this is not an indication that he has suffered a setback. The expectation all along was that he would miss his final spring outing, but the team did not make it official until Friday.
Instead of receiving another start, Sanchez will toss an extended side session as a final tuneup before his outing against the Rays. It's not necessarily ideal, but still a more prudent approach than potentially risking another injury.
"He's not going to do that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the Minor League start. "He'll throw an extended side-type thing and he'll be ready to go down there in Tampa. It feels better but we thought it might be crazy to pitch him in a Minor League game and take a chance."
Sanchez had a blister appear on his right hand during a start against the Phillies earlier this week. He has dealt with these issues in the past, including last September, but it typically doesn't take very long to heal. Following the outing against Philadelphia, Sanchez had the area drained and it has since improved.
The 24-year-old is coming off a season in which he posted an American-League best 3.00 ERA among qualified starters. He went 15-2 with 161 strikeouts over 192 innings and is set to open the year as Toronto's No. 5 starter, which was by design to give him more time to get ready for the season.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.