Zach Britton struggled in the second half last season, including an August stint on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, and Jim Duquette of MLB.com reports that the 24-year-old left-hander’s injury “is still lingering” and his “workload will be limited in spring training.”
Britton had a 3.38 ERA in 16 starts through the end of June and then posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 starts after July 1, finishing with a 4.61 ERA and 97/62 K/BB ratio in 154 innings overall.
If healthy his spot in the rotation won’t be in question, but when shoulder problems from August remain in February that isn’t very encouraging for a young pitcher.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.