The Toronto Blue Jays engaged in a little baseball subterfuge Saturday, sending Aaron Sanchez to make his final spring tune-up against a Philadelphia Phillies minor-league team rather than the New York Yankees, the team the right-hander will face in the regular season’s second game. Pitching to Russell Martin for the first time this spring, Sanchez cruised through four shutout innings at the Bobby Mattick Training Center, allowing three hits, one of them a blooper that should have been caught, with three strikeouts on 55 pitches, 36 of them strikes. Afterwards, the 25-year-old upon whom so much hinges in 2018 proclaimed himself ready for the season following a camp in which any lingering concerns about the troubled middle finger that caused so much anguish last year faded to the background. "I knew what I needed to accomplish when I came into spring training, to be ready for the year because I missed so much time last year," said Sanchez. "There was a lot of emphasis on a lot of things this year and I felt like I accomplished it. If I didn’t accomplish the things I wanted to, I’m super close. It’s what I do, man. I come here to work. I know what I need to do. I know what I need to do to get better." One of those things is maintaining his pace and not rushing through his delivery, something he did through his first inning Saturday. He allowed a line drive single and the bloop hit to begin his outing but then settled down to induce a lazy fly ball to centre field before getting a 5-4-3 double play. From that point forward he settled, with only a groundball single sneaking through the right side.
Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez says he’s ready to go after final spring start
Sportsnet | Mar 25