Blue Jays move prospect Aaron Sanchez to bullpen in Triple-A; majors the next step?

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Aaron Sanchez is considered the Blue Jays’ top pitching prospect, but the team appears prepared to give him his first taste of the majors in a relief role.

Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590 The Fan passes along word that the Blue Jays have moved Sanchez to the bullpen with Triple-A Buffalo. The thought is that he could be promoted to the Blue Jays within 10 days.

Sanchez, a supplemental first-round pick from 2010, has posted a 3.94 ERA and 82/57 K/BB ratio over 98 1/3 innings this season between Double- and Triple-A. The 22-year-old right-hander has never thrown more than 90 1/3 innings in a season in pro ball prior to 2014, so the Blue Jays are looking to protect his workload. A short-term move to the bullpen might be the best way to accomplish that, especially given the team’s needs at the major league level. Blue Jays relievers are 27th in the majors this season with a 4.39 ERA.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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