Aaron Sanchez threw six curveballs over the course of the two innings that made up his big league debut on Wednesday night, according to his player page at Brooks Baseball. Three of them went for strikes, to go along with nine strikes on sixteen four-seamers, and one strike from the three two-seamers (or so the Pitch F/X machine says they were — 93 mph changeups?) that he threw. One of those three curveball strikes was actually the ball in play from Dustin Pedroia, who impressively stayed back on a curve nearly on his shoe-tops and lifted it to centre for the first out of Sanchez’s big league career.

And while he didn’t generate any swing-and-miss, wasn’t the groundball machine he was in the minors (and yes, he was indeed a groundball machine, as his page at the excellent MLB Farm shows), didn’t necessarily hit all of his spots, didn’t show a starter’s repertoire, and likely benefited from the Dickey Effect, the club’s top prospect certainly flashed the kind of pure, raw stuff that has his name written on sites like this for so very long, that allowed the Jays to feel comfortable parting with a guy like Noah Syndergaard, and that the club has so tightly held onto over the years as he was ascending to this moment.

That doesn’t mean he’s here fully formed, of course. His outings won’t all be like tonight — he’ll walk guys, he’ll get hit on days when he struggles to get anything but the fastball over — but he sure looks like he’ll help the bullpen right now, too. He showed tonight that he can get big leaguers out.

And why the fuck shouldn’t he with velocity like this?:



Why the fuck shouldn’t he with a hook like this one he threw to Daniel Nava?:

Uh… nails much?


Crotch grab in the direction of @mattomic for the GIF and @darenw for the batted ball chart. Check out a Vine of the curve, if you prefer, via @dantoman.

Comments (110)

  1. Looked great out there. Although I can see what people mean by his stride length being short… It looks like he is stopping himself… its weird, you don’t see a lot of pitchers throw like that…

    • yeah it was really noticeable.. and the reason you don’t see it often is because of all the negative impacts it can have on a pitcher, like what has recently been mentioned by Law and others.. (more stress on your arm etc.)… Shocked to hear that the Jays actually made that adjustment too..

    • the whole stride length is something we as Jays fans talk about because of what Keith Law said. What a joke. You think he knows more about pitching and mechanics than those who actually pitched. He’s a nerd in a suit. He said you’re more likely to get injured with a short stride length. Here’s an article completely refuting this:

      Law is over simplifying the elements of pitching. There are many elements that go into getting a consistent release point and throwing quality strikes. There are also a million different deliveries that achieve this. Different things work for different pitchers.

      If you want to look at film and measure stride length, you can compare Sanchez to another former blue jay who was the same height and had basically the same stride length. That pitcher was Roy Halladay. The good doctor put in a pretty good career with a shorter stride length.

  2. Three two-seamers? (1) Tell me a four-seam fastball can’t drop a foot. (2) His change is getting misclassified as a “two-seamer”, right?

    • Pretty sure those were changeups, yeah.

    • Could be, yeah. Probably. They were at 93 though.

      • I was wondering about that. If they _were_ his change, wouldn’t 93 be insufficient velocity difference from the fastball?

        What’s the ideal mileage difference?

        • 6mph is enough. There was a Fangraphs study on fastball-change velocity differences and what sorts of outcomes to expect; 5mph-ish gets grounders while 10mph-ish gets whiffs. Might explain a bit of his minor-league GB rate?

          • Cool. Thanks for the info. I’ll look that up. I always thought 10mph was what you wanted, but that might be to increase the whiff rate.

            GBs are just fine, to be sure.

          • Mile per hour differential….. Fuck I laugh

  3. That was fun.

    Totally was questioning gibbons bringing him in to a 1 run game verse pedroia Ortiz Napoli tho. But worked out.

    And now I’m watching the angels and orioles in late July and I care about the outcome. Fun times

  4. Let’s see if the big acquisition from the Pads can clinch this win for LAA…

  5. Somebody explain his short stride length please. His leg is still back where it was last time up or am I not getting it.

    • Keith Law mentioned it first, but the Jays had Sanchez shorten his stride, supposedly to make him more upright on his pitches. Anyhow, Law (and I think some others) suggested that his control problems were made worse by it.

      There was some side-by-side video of his old stride and his new one. I think it was on this site. It may have also been on Blue Jays Plus. I thought the difference was imperceptible almost, but I’m no pitching coach or expert in mechanics.

      • Thanks Fitz. Thing is Law isn’t the law. Anyone that knows exactly what that means regarding the shorter stride… Please advise

      • Law contends that the shorter stride makes him a higher candidate for injury while impeding command.

        • I think the underlying theory there is cutting down stride length transfers load to the arm and shoulder, if all other values (specifically velocity) remain the same; shorter stride means less momentum so less velocity. If velocity doesn’t change the load needs to go somewhere to balance the equation.
          Just a guess.

          • There was a peice up a year ago or so re the stride shortening in BP. It was done by the Jays coaches to get him more “on top” of the ball for better command. Since then his walks have gone down – I think.
            Blue Jays Plus had a tiny blurb at the end of one peice since then, re that, but thats about it

  6. The rays are coming on like a fucking midnight freight train. Thats concerning. The jays are going to really have to put their big boy pants on in NY this time around thats for sure.

  7. Feels better to win, eh?

    Atmosphere on this site changes so much game to game.

    All hail Sanchez! The turning point of our season!

    Jokes aside, couldn’t of been a better debut for the kid. Looked great.

    • I know I should be more consistent in how I feel game to game, but that’s the logic part of my brain talking.

      The fan part of me is veering from wanting to order playoff tickets to shrieking in terror – sometimes inning to inning. It’s fun, though!

  8. Aronxta Sanchez Vicario. Gold, Jerry. Gold.

  9. To “Yeah” and Radar from yesterday: Pretty good first couple of innings. No? Only 28 left. Personally, I’m glad I get to actually watch them.

    • I think that he is up for his 40 innings to see if other teams bite.

    • very impressive. i had a lot of fun watching him last night. i hope they all go like this!

    • T’was excellent to watch.Excited for the kid.
      My point yesterday was,not that Sanchez was called up but the reason he was called up.
      The relievers at the major league level weren’t getting the job done, the depth at AAA wasn’t getting the job done when called up, which forced the Jays hands into calling up Rasmussen,Esmil Rogers and Sanchez because there were no other viable options.
      Brad Mills was used then discarded.
      Your statement “I think it’s funny that some of the mouth breathers are calling Sanchez’s promotion a panic move”
      The “mouth breathers” may have a point.Rather than a planned development phase,Sanchez was called up,perhaps prematurely, because he was needed and there are limited options left,

      • @RADAR Moving him to the bullpen was the only way to have him pitch past August. I don’t see what’s wrong with that, nor that there needs to be anything more to it.

      • @Radar: I totally get where you’re coming from. My point, however, was more that trading him (along with our other high end prospects) for a veteran with limited controlabilty and upside would demonstrate far more panic than does calling him up. While I agree the motivation for calling him up is entirely because our expected bullpen strength has fallen apart, it’s nice that whatever sphincter tightening that AA must be experiencing at the moment hasn’t made him sell the farm. Yet…..

        • lol. there is no way I would trade Norris, Pompey or Sanchez at this point. that would be so dumb.

        • my point was that it is risky to bring Sanchez up at this point. he might have a few bad outings and then rot at the back of the bullpen, perhaps setting back his development while burning up an option, building up service time and making him more expensive sooner…..

          • @yeah. I understand those fears too. But I think putting him in the pen really limits the potential damage or at least those potentially caused by shitbombings. If the money part ever becomes a problem, then it’s an awesome one because that would mean he’ll have been successful enough at MLB to become expensive.

      • Premature? Maybe. But based on what? Our idea of what is best for him? According to whom?

        We drafted him to play up here. Now he’s playing here. The majority of guys go up and down several times before “sticking”. Enjoy the show.

        • Kid throws 99. Has decent control and needed the challenge to further his development.
          Iron sharpens iron.

        • Yeah, i guess you’re right.He’s a finished product.
          Like I said before,people here were screaming that Snider was rushed to the majors by the Jays and that in part, ruined him but accelerating Sanchez is good for his development?
          He’s here because he has talent. That talent hasn’t been harnessed fully.Because the rest of the depth has shit the bed,Sanchez has been pushed into duty.
          Rogers is even back after being DFA’d and passed over by the rest of the league.
          Easy to see why some might consider it a panic move.

          • It’s risky but I guess AA needs to do something to save the team and his job. Doing nothing would probably get him fired at seasons end regardless of the outcome

  10. “Dickey Effect”???? Doesn’t that fit into the same category as line-up protection, being clutch and hitting well with RISP?

    If anything I would guess players would rather see 95+ vs the knuckleball?

    • The knuckle ball effect is a researched effect that actually exists, i think fangraphs or hardball has done some articles on it.

      Of course it’s not a huge difference, but it does exist.

    • Think about it. You’ve had 3 AB’s trying to hit a 65MPH fucking knuckler, then some hotshot kid with an electric arm is throwing 99MPH fastballs at you, that’s the most extreme difference possible in all of baseball. Brilliant platform to give the kid his first coupe of innings in the show.

      • To wit:

        Catcher Josh Thole said his fastball “felt like 130″ after Dickey’s knuckleball, but the rookie did everything else like a seasoned veteran.

        • Except he doesn’t throw 65 mph too often and I am sure hitters would much rather face 95 .. They are good enough to adjust to that which they see nearly every day vs a knuckle ball …

          I believe it’s a THING but not at all the reason for ones success

  11. 93 mph changeup. crazy. I wish he would drop the speed on it a little.

  12. Buck or Tabby (I think it was Buck) made a comment to the effect that he thought Sanchez might be one of those guys who puts up better numbers in the Show than he ever did in the minors. That is a thing. I don’t know if there’s any rational explanation to it, but it does happen. Hopefully it’ll be the case with Sanchez, he looked good last night.

  13. Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T) said Q2/14 net income was $405 million, or $0.76 per share, compared to $532 million, or $0.93 per share, a year ago. Net additions of post-paid customers was 38,000, down 60% Y/Y. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings were $432 million, or $0.84 per share. On average, analysts had expected Rogers to earn $448 million, or $0.84 per share. Revenue was flat at $3.2 billion.

  14. Not going to lie, I just watched that .gif loop for about 10 min.


  15. Did you see Zaun between innings force himself to be positive re: Sanchez’s 3 up 3 down? What a fucktard.

    • it is nice to see the fucker eating some crow. he hates rookies with a passion deep and burning.

    • Zaun’s cumalitive MiLB batting average (had neither the time nor the inclination to calculate anything else) in parts of 3 MiLB seasons before going up (mostly) for good, was .261, so much for “earning it”. In fairness he did bat .319 in a 14 game sample size prior to his final promotion. I guess he considers 14 games “earning it”.

      • Zaun was a catcher.

        • this is true, but not necessarily his point.

          • Let me try again, since my point was missed.
            Gregg Zaun was a catcher.
            a .261 batting average is pretty damned good for a catcher. Also, since dude above cherry picked some stats here is Zaun’s actual batting line from his final year in AAA before being called up (158 ABs)

            Those are some pretty fucking good numbers, especially for a catcher. He did “earn” his callup.

            Now – back to your original point. Zaun is a moron and his point about having to earn it was delivered in the dumbest possible way. Why not just say “I don’t know if he’s ready yet” and leave it at that.
            Zaun’s dumb, but Gimped’s argument about Zaun was also… not… ..good…

  16. I was more impressed with his fastball. 98-99, easy delivery, and dat movement.

  17. Given that Aaron Sanchez is on an innings limit, I love that Gibbons is not shielding him from anything but throwing him out there to see what the Jays #1 prospect can do. To make your MLB debut up against Ortiz, Pedroia and Napoli in a close game could potentially harm the career of a lot of players, but that kid showed poise.

    And I can’t say how much I loved his wicked tailing fastball and that sweet curveball. If he can show that level of command, he’s going to be just fine. For the meantime, the Jays have more than filled the void left by Santos’ inability to throw strikes.

  18. I don’t know how many people on this board have pitched at least at a high school or higher, but it looks to me that the diving pitches Sanchez threw were 2 seam fastballs. I currently coach a men’s team and try to instill to all my pitchers how valuable the 2 seam fastball is relative to the 4 seam in pitching efficiency. I guess it could in theory be a change up, but I would view that as a REALLY bad sign long term for his health.

    Let’s remember the lesson from Roy Halladay, which is he thrust to greatness after dialing down his velocity and increasing his efficiency. He pitched deep into games not because of high pitch counts, but because he pounded the strike zone with low/mid 90′s 2 seamers/cutters that resulted in a lot of poor contact. It is clear that Sanchez has the same kind of natural movement on his 2 seamer and also a wicked curve. I’ll take a 93 mph 2 seamer diving in the zone over a 98 mph 4 seamer any day of the week.

  19. In addition to the excitement generated by Sanchez and Stroman, it is also nice to know that we will no longer constantly hear how “they’re just prospects who haven’t done anything and are, therefore, expendable”.

  20. Watching baseball sure is fun.

  21. Last night I was thinking about his parents who were at the game. They probably threw every pitch with him. It’s an exciting time to be a Jays fan this year, and yes I believe this team will make the playoffs. Of course what I believe don’t mean a hell’uva lot.

  22. Today’s lineup

    1. SS: Jose Reyes
    2. LF: Melky Cabrera
    3. RF: Jose Bautista
    4. C: Dioner Navarro
    5. DH: Dan Johnson
    6. 3B: Munenori Kawasaki
    7. 1B: Juan Francisco
    8. 2B: Ryan Goins
    9. CF: Anthony Gose

    • I was going to bitch about Navarro batting cleanup again, but I see he actually leads the team with 4HRs over the past 30 days, with a respectable .457 SLG…

      I hear EE and Lind could be back as soon as MONDAY… I can live with that!

  23. POLL: (no troll comments, just answer A, B, or something witty/intelligent please)

    Would/will the inspiring performance of Sanchez before the trade deadline:

    A: Make Rogers more convinced that this team is a contender and make a move
    B: Give Rogers reason to believe (read: excuse) that the team is good enough to stand pat
    C: Other, please explain _________________________(eg. not relevant cuz they still need 2B & Starter, Anthopolous can’t find a deal that matches well, etc…)

    And I’m not talking about Esmil Rogers feeling his job security loosen ;)

    • lol k i doubt rogers is in a company wide meeting right now to determine the effect of Aaron sanchez’s 2 innings

    • B – To the fact that maybe they don’t need a reliever now….
      C – Then use whatever resources allowed to be used to fill something else

    • Do the Jays really need another SP?


      MORROW in August. Fuck when he comes back there’s actually TOO MANY quality SPs.

      • They might if a Wild Card is looking more realistic than a division win.

        The team would be smart to do a bullpen game in the wild card. They can basically pick a 25 man roster for that 1 game alone, and they have a TON of relievers they can throw into the lineup. Even Stroman could go a couple. I’d prefer an ace, but I’d prefer a bullpen game to hoping it’s a good day for Dickey for Buehrle.

      • Burton, there are two months of regular season left. Hutch has been inconsistent and we don’t know how long Stroman will keep pitching like this.

        This rotation is doing great right now so I wouldn’t want anyone to get the boot if a pitcher was acquired until fatigue or something pops up. Maybe a 6 man rotation? But there has to be a trade first

        • I think they should bring up Hendricks or even Korecky for a spot start to give the guys a little break. Stroman is not going to be a problem. Hutch had one bad start (he was tipping pitches). Having Morrow come back in August is like landing another #2 SP. SP has not been a problem, it’s the injuries and cold bats over the last month. For all the ballyhooing over acquiring a quality SP, it really has been a moot point.

          • Are they desperate? No. But could they use one? Yeah, it’d sure make me a lot more comfortable to have another reliable arm.

            Hendriks is a bad idea unless it’s in a big ballpark. Korecky is a reliever and is practically another Brad Mills with less stamina. Morrow could provide a boost or he could not be good since he hasn’t pitched in a while, I wouldn’t bet on him providing anything close to a #2

      • Yes. In an ideal world, they get Hamels or Price, bump everyone down a peg, and fix their bullpen by pushing Happ or one of the kids into it. It also makes it less necessary to search for more position players for offensive reasons.

        That’s the best part about great starting pitching: it solves your offensive and bullpen problems too (because you don’t need them as much).

    • Sanchez is one reliever with 30-40 innings left before he’s shut down

      I don’t think Sanchez has much of an effect on anything besides the innings he pitches

  24. The thing I liked about Sanchez most is that it’s clear he’s a gamer. The diamond is his office, and he comes ready to work. He’s a guy who has had success at every level, and knows how to win. And did you notice when he was in the dugout? He wasn’t intimidated by the big league atmosphere, and was obviously taking it all in.What I’m saying is this – he’s a baseball player.

  25. Let’s see if he can throw strikes like this consistently before we expose ourselves to spirit-crushing disappointment. That curve is filth though, like holy shit.

  26. That gif of the pitch to nava…looks like the ball has basically no spin on it. i thought the same thing last nite – am i blind?

    i mean, i see it tumble about once…like some other kind of pitch

  27. The legend of Dirty Sanchez began last night.

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