Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sanchez/Norris Updates: Not Really

   The Jays have been very tight-lipped about the return to action timelines of most of their minor league prospects this season, and are continuing that trend with righthander Aaron Sanchez, and lefthander Daniel Norris.
   Sanchez, Clutchlings' #1 top-ranked Blue Jays prospect, has been on the milb disabled list since injuring his shoulder on May 18th.  GM Alex Anthopolous told Sportsnet's Shi Davidi on May 29th that Sanchez felt great, and was ready to get going "soon."  Assistant GM Tony LaCava told mlb.com yesterday that Sanchez is now pain-free, and making progress with his throwing program, but wouldn't commit to a timeline for his return.  Sanchez was 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA with Dunedin before being shut down.  Obviously, the Jays are taking things very conservatively with their prize prospect. 
   Norris, #4 on our list, was coming into his own with Low A Lansing in May.  Despite an 0-4, 5.80 ERA, Norris posted a 1.29 ERA over 5 starts before leaving a June 9th start with forearm stiffness in the 2nd inning.  The move was precautionary, but the club sent Norris for an MRI to be certain.  Norris announced his fitness on Twitter:

  The organization has similarly taken a cautious approach with Norris.  LaCava says that he will be starting a throwing program - you guessed it, "soon."
  Righthander Roberto Osuna returned to action with Lansing after being diagnosed with a tear in his UCL, and threw 5 shutout innings on June 9th, and 6 innings, giving up only an unearned run on the 14th.  Osuna was shut down in May, and sent to Florida for rest and rehab.
   On a related note, the Blue Jays have perhaps gotten a jump on the competition by hiring renowned pitching mechanics trainer Jamie Evans.  Evans has helped many pitchers at all levels with his Velocity Program.  Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, and Dustin McGowan have all experienced success with the regimen. Evans' program involves the use of weighted balls to strengthen the shoulder muscles, reducing stress on the elbow.  The idea was borrowed from a program used by tennis players.  Given what we have learned from our earlier study of pitchers' injuries, this hire makes a great deal of sense.

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