TORONTO -- Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will have his next outing skipped and is not expected to start again until the series finale in Seattle on Sept. 21.
Toronto previously had been expected to skip one of Sanchez's starts down the stretch as the club continues to monitor innings during his first full season as a starter. The decision became even more obvious after Sanchez dealt with a blister during Sunday's outing against Boston.
Sanchez matched a career high by allowing six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in an 11-8 loss. After the game, the club admitted Sanchez had a reoccurence of the hot spot/blister issue that has been bothering him at various times.
"That blister, it's one of those things you just have to give a little time," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He won't pitch that next turn, and then I think the target date is that late game in Seattle."
The decision to have Sanchez start the finale in Seattle also seems to provide a strong hint at how Toronto intends to line up its rotation for the final stretch. Sanchez would be in position to start on normal rest against the Yankees on Sept. 26, or more likely receive one extra day rest and pitch against Baltimore on Sept. 27.
Either of those dates would then allow the Blue Jays to use Sanchez during one of the final two games of the regular season against Boston. If a spot in the postseason is still in jeopardy, then Sanchez would be available to pitch, and if it's not, he could be pushed back to start a potential Wild Card game or Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
Dickey available out of the 'pen
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is available to pitch out of the bullpen during this week's series against the Rays, but it seems unlikely he would actually be used in that role.
The only way Dickey becomes a possibility is if a Blue Jays starter gets knocked out of the game early. Even then, right-hander Scott Feldman would become the first line of defense and then Gibbons would assess if Dickey was still needed.
The problem with bringing in Dickey out of the bullpen is that it would also result in backup catcher Josh Thole being brought off the bench. Russell Martin hasn't been behind the plate for a Dickey start since last year's postseason and the club isn't about to reunite the pair any time soon.
"Feldman would be the guy we'd go to and then we'll see where we're at," Gibbons said. "That way you don't have to yank your catcher in the third, which isn't ideal."
Dickey, who last pitched on Sept. 5, is expected to start one of the club's upcoming four games vs. the Angels in Anaheim.
The Blue Jays have used closer Roberto Osuna for more than three outs just three times this season, but it's possible that number could be increased over the next couple of weeks.
Gibbons seemed willing to entertain the idea of using Osuna for slightly longer outings with Toronto in the thick of the postseason race. The one thing Gibbons does not want to do, though, is go to that well too many times.
"It's getting to be crunch time, if you need him a little more than that you have to do it," Gibbons said. "But you can't do that too often otherwise is affects him and he's not the same guy anyways. But it's getting to that time of the year when there are certain games you need to win."