Aaron Sanchez‘s return from the disabled list didn’t go as planned Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander – out since April 14 due to a blister on his right middle finger – exited his start against the Tampa Bay Rays after just one inning with a split nail on that same finger, the team announced.
Sanchez, who had part of his fingernail removed to alleviate his blister woes, issued a leadoff walk to Corey Dickerson to open the series finale, throwing five of his first six pitches for balls, but rebounded nicely by fanning Kevin Kiermaier before getting Evan Longoria to bounce into an inning-ending double play. He didn’t throw any offspeed pitches, though, avoiding the curveball responsible for the blister problems that have hampered him since spring training.
As soon as Sanchez returned to the dugout, Ryan Tepera started warming up in the bullpen, and the 29-year-old reliever ended up replacing Sanchez for the top of the second.
“We’re certainly going to be cautious with him,” Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said Saturday of Sanchez, according to Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. “He hasn’t been in a game in a little bit, obviously a number of days. We’ll watch him closely, monitor him and we’ll make a decision when the time comes during the course of the game. We don’t expect him to throw 110 pitches.”
Before landing on the disabled list, Sanchez, the American League ERA leader last year, posted a 4.38 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over his first two starts of 2017, notching nine strikeouts while allowing three home runs in 12 1/3 innings.