Aaron Sanchez Feeds Off Marcus Stroman And Gains 25 Pounds
By Melissa Verge
Canadian Baseball Network
The last time I interviewed Aaron Sanchez I was in the dark confines of my basement wearing Teddy Bear pajamas.
Sanchez was still playing in the Blue Jays farm system for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, and I was still trying to get a hang of the whole interview thing.
It was over the phone- thank goodness, because I had failed to shower and my hair was tangled in one giant nasty pile.
This was far away from the bright lights and fancy suits of Sportsnet.
This was a dark creepy basement, teddy bear pajamas style interview.
Three years following that moment, I interviewed Sanchez again, this time in slightly more style. I had ditched the Teddy Bear pajamas for jeans, and he had evolved from Triple A pitcher to Major Leaguer. And this time there were real live reporters there from Sportsnet.
In nice suits.
It was part of the Blue Jays 2016 Winter Tour, and the players had a media availability updating reporters and fans on their offseason progress.
I was full from the marzipan chocolate bar I had scarfed down greedily the night before, and hopefully more prepared than I had been in my basement three years ago.
Sanchez seemed excited for April, he said he had been training in the offseason with fellow Jay’s pitcher Marcus Stroman.
“We motivate each other,” Sanchez said of Stroman.
“I think we know what it takes and what to do to get through to each other. For him to feed of me and me to feed off him, I think it’s one of the better things that can happen to a team and what we’re trying to accomplish here in Toronto.”
Throughout his offseason workouts with Stroman he says he’s put on some weight.
“I’ve gained about 25 pounds from the time I started until now,” he said. “Wanting to start I need to be durable, and I couldn’t do it at 190.”
(That’s 25 pounds of muscle, not marzipan chocolate bars, just to clarify.)
Sanchez is hopeful of a starting role this year with the team, rather than coming out of the bullpen.
However if starting isn’t what the Jays have in mind, Sanchez said he’ll still be ready.
“Management is still kind of talking about things. If they say I need to go to the pen, then I’ll go down there and be the best seventh, eighth, and ninth inning guy that this team needs me to be to win ball games.”
The remainder of his offseason is going to be focused on continuing to improve his change up.
“I feel like my pitches are where they need to be. I think my offseason right now while I’m getting ready to go into spring training is focused a lot more on my off-speed. The emphasis for me going into spring training is really to develop my change up.”
As a reliever last season Sanchez was mainly throwing heat, but if he were to get a spot in the starting rotation, it means he will be utilizing his other pitches a lot more frequently.
Looking towards the future, Sanchez says his goal is to go out there every game he plays in 2016, and give it his all.
“For me at least, when you play this game you’re trying to be the best player that you can possibly be. If that takes me to places with awards and stuff like that, then so be it. I’m just trying to be the best big leaguer player that I can be.”