Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez And Travis Won’t Be Back This Season

Not very many things went right for the Blue Jays in 2017. At the top of the list of misfortune, and, really, the reason the season got completely derailed, is injuries to key players.

With just a few weeks left to go and the team limping towards the finish line, we received some bad (expected?) news on the injury front as Devon Travis and Aaron Sanchez both won’t return to action in 2017.

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Sanchez’s issues started all the way back in spring training. A blister flared up on his finger and it just didn’t go away. He made two regular season starts before going on the disabled list, came back a few weeks later, then only made it through one inning in his return. He went on the DL again, this time for two weeks, came back for two starts, went on the shelf again, this time for a month-and-a-half, made three starts, and went back on the DL.

All told, Sanchez made just eight starts this season, putting together a 4.25 ERA through 36 innings. It’s obviously incredibly unfortunate for the 25-year-old who was coming off of a breakout season in which he led the American League in ERA and finished seventh in Cy Young voting.

It was hoped he would be able to make it back, possibly to pitch out of the ‘pen down the stretch, but the blister still hasn’t gone away. At this point, the hope is for Sanchez to be ready to go for 2018.

Then there’s Devon Travis, who, for the third year in a row, had a season derailed due to injury. Travis had a slow start to the season but went nuclear in May, helping the Jays to their best month with a 1.019 OPS. But a few days into June, Travis was drilled on the wrist by a pitch, sat a few games out, and ended up hitting the 10-day DL with a bone bruise in his knee.

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Later in June, he underwent surgery to clean up some cartilage in that knee, and was transferred to the 60-day DL. It was expected he would return some time in August, but Travis suffered a setback in rehab, and now his season appears to be over.

Injuries have been an unfortunate theme in Travis; young career so far. One moment, he looks like an all-star calibre offensive catalyst, then just like that, he’s back on the shelf. A good chunk of Travis’ 2015 rookie season was derailed due to a shoulder injury, and he suffered the knee injury in 2016 and ended up having to miss most of the ALDS and ALCS.

Obviously you don’t want to call a player injury prone because it’s kind of a lazy blanket statement, but it’s sketchy to assume Travis will be available to play a full season at second base. If that’s the case, the Jays badly need to acquire a more suitable backup than either Ryan Goins or Darwin Barney over the offseason.

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  • Holly Wood

    Why does Ryan Goins get no respect on the site? Great defender, batting improving, this year he has shown to be able to drive in runs. Some other everyday players could follow his lead and choke up with two strikes instead of swinging for the fences all the time. At the very least Goins can be a backup infielder and be there in case of more injuries.

    • Glassman

      Because he isn’t that good. His defense has declined this year. He is a backup infielder at best. The problem with the Jays are that Tulo has a long injury list and Travis can’t seem to stay on the field, so you need added depth to a player that can play more then a normal backup would. He has poor numbers in every category expect for RISP, which is a fluke, is bad. His WAR is -.07. His improvements at the plate, Career .225/.273/.328. This year .227/.281.334. Not much of an improvement. I like Goins the way I liked Johnny Mac, but he defense isn’t the same as it used to be and we need better backups with our current infield.

    • Cam Lewis

      I can dig Goins as the utility player on the bench, but the Jays need a better player, like Dee Gordon level, going into next season. You can’t have Goins taking 350-400 at bats a year unless you’re the 2015 Jays.

    • The Humungus

      They won’t. It’s like an $11M decision, they’ll pick it up and try to trade him for assets at the deadline next year. Plus, he’s literally their best player now.

  • Holly Wood

    And yet this fan base seems to tolerate Pearce in left, Bautista in right, Montero catching! Barnett at second, Loup, Grilli, (gone) Liriano(gone). Ryan Goins is not the problem here folks

    • Barry

      Well, Pearce is simply a better player and can actually hit baseballs, which doesn’t mean he is great by any means, but at least has a better WAR than Goins. And I think the “this fan base” prefers Pearce as a bench player, not an everyday player. No one thinks Bautista is good this year, and I don’t think you’ll find many who think the Jays should keep him next year, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. No one “seems to tolerate” Montero catching. No one seems to think Barney is any better than Goins (though historically he’s been “less shitty.”

      No, Goins is not “the problem.” The problem is Tulo and Travis are out for the season and Goins is thrust into a starting role, which is a poor role for him. “The problem” is that the team is so injury-riddled up the middle that BOTH Goins and Barney are seeing a lot of playing time, and neither should. Ideally, Goins is a backup, and a highly expendable one at that. We really should not care very much about Goins at all. If he’s on the team at all next year it should be as a backup, but giving a damn about a backup is not something that should draw a lot of our energy.

      • Barry

        And somehow I forgot to mention the important point that none of the players you listed is likely to be a Blue Jay next year, and people are fine with that, as they should be if Goins is not a Blue Jay next year.

        • The Humungus

          Well, Pearce probably will be. He is under contract.

          I’m dreaming of a scenario where the Jays pay Oakland to take Morales and Pearce becomes the DH. I would be 100% ok with having a DH would could, technically, in a pinch, fill in at 2nd, 3rd and LF, say in an Interleague game or something. And also capably spell Smoak at 1st. Especially if Smoak turns back into a pumpkin (I fucking hope not).