Are the Jays Leaning Towards Sanchez in the Bullpen & Floyd in the Rotation?

Until an official announcement is made, the fifth starter debate is the one roster-related topic that will continue to dominate discussion around Blue Jays camp.

It’s all about the battle for the fifth starter’s spot, but the fifth starter spot is a bit of a misnomer, as the fifth starter spot is typically relegated to the fifth best starting pitcher on the roster.

The two prime candidates for the job – Aaron Sanchez and Gavin Floyd – have looked quite impressive in their Spring Training outings thus far and have looked much better than “fifth starters”. These are Spring Training games mind you, but the results have been impressive thus far.


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So how do the Blue Jays intend on solving this dilemma; will they award the fifth starter spot to Aaron Sanchez or Gavin Floyd, will the other guy go into the bullpen, or Aaron Sanchez be skipped over entirely and sent down to Buffalo to work out the rotation?

The Blue Jays still have a few weeks to make an official decision, but Mark Shapiro might’ve already tipped his hand. Shapiro and Gibby appeared on MLB Network Radio and @_Clint_B (who you should follow, by the way!) caught all the juicy quotes.


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Obviously no-clear cut decision has been made as of yet, but going by Shapiro’s quotes alone, it sounds like he wants Aaron Sanchez in the bullpen and Gavin Floyd in the starting rotation. But it’s not solely his decision; we learned that Mark Shapiro often takes the input from many within his inner circle when it comes to personnel decisions like these.

John Gibbons has a great deal say in this decision as well, and he seems to be leaning towards the opposite; Sanchez in the rotation and Floyd in the bullpen.

As much as Gibbons would enjoy having Aaron Sanchez back there as a trusted member of the Blue Jays bullpen, after the acquisition of Drew Storen, that probably makes Gibby feel much better about moving Sanchez into the rotation.

If the Blue Jays do indeed go the route of giving Gavin Floyd the last spot in the starting rotation and stashing Aaron Sanchez in the bullpen, it’s still a good move for the Blue Jays.

Of the three options the Blue Jays have, that’s definitely the most “win now” move. As opposed to keeping Sanchez in the starting rotation at the major or minor league level and fostering his development as a starter.

However, the high upside move is to keep Aaron Sanchez in the rotation and Gavin Floyd wherever … so long as he’s healthy. I think the majority of people prefer that move, simply because we still haven’t really been shown that Aaron Sanchez absolutely can’t start.


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Until Sanchez is officially deemed a “failed starter”, then the Blue Jays absolutely have to keep trying him in the starting rotation.

Ian Hunter

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.

One thought on “Are the Jays Leaning Towards Sanchez in the Bullpen & Floyd in the Rotation?

  • March 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm
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    If I’m making the decision…

    long term IF Sanchez IS a starter – it’s BEST for the team he gets stretched out starting this year. Then shut down when he’s done. SO – I start Sanchez in the rotation – IF he crashes he goes back to the pen and Floyd replaces him in the rotation. IF he’s good – and then gets NEAR(ish) to his innings total – he goes back to the pen and Floyd takes over the spot for the last 10 (whatever #) of starts near the end of the year.

    IF Sanchez is GOOD the best for us in 2016 (and going forward) is if he pitches 150(ish) innings this year mostly in the rotation (up 20 from his 130 previous tops) – rather than pitches only 60 to 80 innings in the pen.

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