In the wake of last night’s blowout loss to the Red Sox the Blue Jays have decided to call up 22-year-old pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez from the minors.
Sanchez’s numbers this season haven’t been particularly impressive, including an underwhelming 4.19 ERA and 27/17 K/BB ratio in 34 innings at Triple-A, but he was a first-round draft pick in 2010 and ranked as a consensus top-50 prospect coming into this season.
Sanchez has very good raw stuff, but has always struggled with his control and has walked 4.8 batters per nine innings for his pro career. That includes 5.5 walks per nine innings at Double-A and 4.5 walks per nine innings at Triple-A.
It’s hard to imagine control that poor playing particularly well versus big-league hitters, but Sanchez has been shifted to the bullpen in part to limit his workload at age 22 and in part because the Blue Jays think he has a chance to help them a lot as a reliever down the stretch. Let him loose for an inning or two at a time and perhaps the control issues won’t be so dramatic.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.