Saturday, April 11, 2015

Blue Jays' Sanchez faces Ubaldo, O's in first MLB start

 Prized prospect Aaron Sanchez will make the first start of his big league career when the Blue Jays face Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles on Saturday night at Camden Yards.
The pitching matchup features a pair of right-handers with a lot to prove. Sanchez will look to show that his future belongs in the rotation following last year's success in the bullpen, while Jimenez is trying to bounce back after a disappointing 2014 campaign.
Three things to know about this game:
1. Jimenez was taken out of Baltimore's rotation down the stretch last year, but the Orioles are encouraged by his new simplified delivery. Jimenez, in the second year of a four-year, $50-million contract, is 3-3 with a 4.63 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against Toronto.
2. Sanchez's success in the second half last season came primarily with one pitch, but if he's going to excel at a starter, he'll need more than his sinker. A big key this year for Sanchez likely will be a slider that he began throwing during Spring Training. Even though the pitch is still relatively new, he has shown an ability to throw it for strikes more consistently than his curveball.
3. David Lough (hamstring) could rejoin the Orioles as early as Saturday. The outfielder played in another intrasquad game at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday, and the O's are trying to decide between activating Lough or having him go out on a rehab assignment.

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