Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez labored through three innings during Friday’s 10-2 win over the White Sox, eventually making his exit in the fourth with what appeared to be a blister on his right middle finger. While it doesn’t look as though the Blue Jays expect him to miss his next start, it’s the continuation of an unfortunate trend for the right-hander, who already missed several starts this season with a broken fingernail and has dealt with various blisters, contusions, and surgeries dating back through the last several years.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Sanchez took the hill against James McCann and Nicky Delmonico, plunking McCann and walking Delmonico to put runners on first and second. He was unable to progress further in the inning, however, and was examined by a trainer before handing the ball off to Sam Gaviglio and making his exit from the field.
So far this season, the righty is 3-4 in 10 starts with a 3.88 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 through 51 innings. Should he go on the injured list again, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that he’ll add to a hefty total of 211 days spent on the IL over the last two years. There’s no word yet on who the Blue Jays have primed to replace Sanchez, but they’re expected to select the contract of left-handed knuckleballer Ryan Feierabend in a separate move, as they need a spot starter for Saturday’s game against the White Sox.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.