Game 43, Mariners at Blue Jays
Taijuan Walker vs. Aaron Sanchez, 10:07am
So the series finale features either a preview of two future stars or two command-challenged, over-hyped young fireballers.
Aaron Sanchez throws 95-99, and blew threw the low minors quickly. In the high minors, though, some issues started to appear. For one, he walked too many. For another, he stopped missing bats, and settled in around 7 K/9 or so. It didn’t hurt him too much thanks to all of that velocity and his avoidance of HRs. That wasn’t just luck, either, as Sanchez’s main fastball is a sinker at 96, and that’s why he’s got a GB% of around 60% in his brief MLB career. His K:BB ratio may never be pretty, but he still hasn’t given up too many runs. He made 20-odd appearances at the end of 2014 as a reliever, but he’s been the Jays 5th starter this season, and while his stats have declined, he’s still starting, which many prospect watchers believed he simply couldn’t do in the bigs.
That said, starting really has magnified some of the…issues Sanchez has. For one, his control problems have worsened, and in 45 IP this year he’s struck out 30, but walked 32 (and plunked a pair of hitters, too). For another, while he’s been death on a stick against righties, he’s developed some serious platoon issues. In his career, righties are hitting .129/.225/162 with 0 HRs while lefties enjoy a line of .258/.388/.451 with 6 HRs. Sanchez’s primary breaking ball is a curve that’s actually been effective against both, but he also throw a really hard (89-90) change-up that looks to have great movement (tons of horizontal run, plus sink), but that doesn’t seem to trouble lefties as much as it should. Taijuan Walker knows how that goes.
1: Miller, 2B
2: Smith, LF
3: Cano, DH
4: Cruz, RF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Castillo, C
8: Ackley, CF
9: Taylor, SS
Six lefties in the lineup.
The Rainiers lost to Iowa yesterday 13-7 in Justin Germano’s first truly bad outing of the year. Patrick Kivlehan homered off of Yoervis Medina in the 7th, and Franklin Gutierrez had 3 hits. Sam Gaviglio starts today opposite Donn Roach, a one-time Angels farmhand who moved to SD in the Ernesto Frieri deal and was signed off waivers by the Cubs. He’s an extreme sinkerballer who posts eye-popping GB rates but little else.
Jackson beat Pensacola in 11 IP yesterday. Reds prospect Robert Stephenson got out of the first against the Generals, and ended up striking out *11* in just 4 2/3, but Jackson ran his pitch count up (he walked 5 in that stretch), and did some damage against the bullpen. DJ Peterson had a triple and IF Tyler Smith had two doubles. Jake Zokan starts against the Blue Wahoos today.
Bakersfield got blanked 5-0 last night against High Desert. Mavericks starter Richelson Pena had a perfect game into the 7th, as he’d retired the first 19 hitters to face him, but he gave up a single to Tim Lopes with 1 out. Ryan Yarbrough took the loss. Dan Altavilla starts today.
Clinton beat Burlington 10-2. Gianfranco Wawoe had 2 hits including his 3rd HR of the year. Patrick Peterson starts today.