Aaron Sanchez and the Trevor Rosenthal Experiment

Title: Aaron Sanchez and the Trevor Rosenthal Experiment
Date: July 18, 2014
Original Source: Fangraphs
Synopsis: This article looked at whether the Toronto Blue Jays were smart to call up prospect Aaron Sanchez and have him work out of the bullpen down the stretch.

On Thursday night, preseason consensus top-50 prospect Aaron Sanchez made his first appearance of the season out of the bullpen for the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sanchez’s move to the pen is notable for several reasons, even though he already had 14 relief appearances on his minor league resume (though some of those were from a tandem-starter experiment at Single-A in 2012).

But first, a note on how he performed: poorly. One inning is a woefully small sample to be judging anything from, but Sanchez was touched for two runs on three singles, taking the loss after allowing Pawtucket to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth. It wasn’t all that bad – three singles out of four balls in play is a little fluky – and one of those hits was from an MLB veteran in Shane Victorino, though the pitch was a mistake on Sanchez’ part (right over the plate and a shade above the knees). Still, he caught a lotof the plate on one of the other singles, and his final out was a well-hit liner to short.

Of course, Sanchez also notched two strikeouts and coaxed two swinging strikes, throwing 17 of his 26 pitches for strikes. It wasn’t great, but considering it’s his first time coming out of the pen since almost this exact date a year ago, and his fastball was said to be sitting 96-98 MPH, it’s not cause for disappointment.

But again, it’s one outing, and it’s the process involved here more than the single-outing result that is interesting. Sanchez’s shift to the pen, if it sticks, seems to indicate he’ll be joining the team at some point this season.

Continue reading at Fangraphs.

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