Last season, Aaron Sanchez wasn’t just one of the better young pitchers in baseball, he was one of the best pitchers period. Putting up an impressive 15-2 record and a 3.00 ERA, no player more so than Sanchez was probably looking forward to seeing what they’d be capable of in 2017. Sadly, Sanchez’ season was derailed almost as soon as it began, and to make matters worse, it was all due to a silly little blister brought on by the new baseballs used in the big leagues.
Forget about how upset the Blue Jays or players union should be about such a botched move by the league, a young mans life and career have hit a serious setback because of this. And all because MLB in their constant need to tinker with things screwed-up big-time when it comes to the main piece of equipment used in this game.
So far this season, as far as Blue Jays pitchers are concerned, there have been blister issues that affected Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and most recently Chris Rowley. Of all players in this league, Rowley is the perfect example that the balls used in this league are harming pitchers. Prior to his start on Saturday against the Pirates, Rowley had pitched a combined 106 innings in AA/AAA this season, and encountered no issues whatsoever with blisters. It’s no coincidence that the balls used in the minor leagues are different than those in the majors. So when a pitcher with no prior history of blisters makes his MLB debut and feels a blister coming on in his very first start, it shouldn’t take a brain surgeon in the MLB office to figure out that something is up.
Not to get too hasty, but Sanchez, an all-star in 2016, could have for all we know won the Cy Young this season had he not missed most of his starts. It’s one thing to think how having such an important player healthy would have changed the fortunes of the Blue Jays, but the bigger issue here is that one of the best young pitchers in the game has lost an entire season of his career, and all because the league approved baseball’s that tear-up a pitchers fingers.
Sanchez will never get this year back, but the league can still make things right a little bit by going back to a baseball that doesn’t lead to a blister epidemic amongst its pitchers.