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.
#BlueJays have officially shut Aaron Sanchez down for the season.— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) September 10, 2017
36 innings is all he has to show for 2017 due to blisters.
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.
It's looking like Devon Travis' season is done and John Gibbons says they're "running out of time" on Aaron Sanchez too. #BlueJays— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) September 9, 2017
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.
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.