Injuries News Spring Training

The Prognosis on Aaron Sanchez is Good; Troy Tulowitzki, However …

Terry Foote

Aaron Sanchez and Troy Tulowitzki are two of the many Toronto Blue Jays who didn’t finish the 2017 season under their own volition. The Blue Jays shut down Sanchez in early September, while the club declared Tulo done for the year in early August.

If the Blue Jays are going to have any hope of getting back to the playoffs in 2018, they need big contributions this year from their promising young starter and starting shortstop.

By all indications, one of these players sounds like they’re back on track to being one of the best at their craft in the American League. The other one? Troy Tulowitzki.



Judging by the reports from Spring Training, everything sounds good surrounding Aaron Sanchez. After he battled blister issues last year, which eventually led to a sprained tendon in his finger, most people feared the worst. However, after taking a 13 week-long hiatus from baseball activity, Sanchez looks like his old self again.

If there’s one player who could be a real difference-maker for the Blue Jays in 2018, it’s Sanchez. Although he made eight starts last year, his season was basically an entire write-off. Having Sanchez creep back up to that 180 inning/30 start threshold would be a huge benefit to the Blue Jays.

After watching various footage on Twitter and hearing scouting reports from guys like Russell Martin and John Gibbons, my fears are quelled when it comes to Sanchez this year. I think he’ll be fine. Tulowitzki however, is a completely different story.

On Wednesday, John Gibbons revealed Tulowitzki is dealing with a bone spur but made it sound like the issue wasn’t anything serious. Then, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins’ came back with this:

“Hopeful” is not a word you want to hear the week when teams begin their first full workouts in Spring Training. That’s a troublesome statement from Atkins, albeit an expected one.

The Blue Jays acquired Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz under the pretence that Tulowitzki and Devon Travis likely wouldn’t play full seasons at second base and shortstop for the Blue Jays this year. Solarte and Diaz were brought in for the sole purpose of being infield insurance.



After this latest development with Tulowitzki, that insurance has already come in handy.

This is precisely why the Blue Jays added Solarte and Diaz; in the likely event that Tulowitzki and Travis would miss time this year. The prognosis on Travis is much better (he was running on the field on Thursday), but the timeline for Tulo’s return is uncertain.

 
In reality, there’s an outside chance that Tulowitzki does somehow make the Opening Day roster, but it isn’t exactly promising to hear the phrase “bone spur” come up just six weeks before the regular season begins.

Last year at Sporting News, I wrote about Tulowitzki’s future with the Blue Jays and how his declining health and onerous contract have put the club in a difficult position. With three years and $58 million left on Tulowitzki’s contract, the Jays have a tough task in navigating that contract.

At any rate, Sanchez looks good, the diagnosis on Tulowitzki sounds somewhat troubling and all the Blue Jays’ position players report to Dunedin as of Monday. It may not be the best outlook for Tulo, but at least the Jays executed their Plan B and C for backup shortstop plans.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.


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2 Comments

  1. Warren

    February 16, 2018 - 4:48 pm

    Tell him to start taking Allopurinol (gout medicine) and to cut down on his rich diet.

  2. Alan

    February 16, 2018 - 8:08 pm

    I remain bullish on Travis until I see him play 150 games. Love the guy, & I know it frustrates him to no end, but until he shows us, skeptical of that knee. Tulo I seriously think is gonna remain wonky and underperforming. It all raises the question, why haven’t Shapiro Atkins shot a little higher with their ambition – either retool and go young, or go in for a year with a few better bats. Either way, this roster is far too injury prone and under performing, to expect to contend. I am not a skeptic by nature, but I don’t like this offensive lineup much. Bullpen may end up thin as well…

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