The Twins are planning to promote righty Aaron Sanchez to start tomorrow evening’s game against the Astros, tweets Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. Minnesota will need to formally select Sanchez’s contract tomorrow. The 40-man roster is currently full, although the Twins could easily create a vacancy by transferring Alex Kirilloff to the 60-day injured list after the revelation the outfielder will miss the remainder of the 2022 season. Park adds that left-hander Devin Smeltzer will be optioned to free an active roster spot.
Sanchez has bounced on and off teams’ rosters a few times this season. The sinkerballer signed a minor league deal with the Nationals and was added to the big league roster in mid-April. He was hit hard over seven starts, posting an 8.33 ERA across 31 1/3 innings. Sanchez was released and caught on with Minnesota on a minor league deal. He spent a couple months in Triple-A St. Paul, was brought to the big leagues for a one-off spot start, then again designated for assignment. Sanchez cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment back to St. Paul, and he’ll now return to the major league club a bit less than three weeks later.
Grisly as his numbers have been in the big leagues this season, the 2016 AL ERA leader has held his own in the upper minors. He allowed only six runs in 15 innings in the Washington system before being called up, and he owns a 3.80 ERA over ten starts with St. Paul. Sanchez has only struck out 16.3% of batters faced over that stretch, but he’s not issued many walks and has a capable 44.8% ground-ball rate.
It remains to be seen whether Sanchez’s second stay on the Twins roster proves more lasting than his initial stint. Minnesota placed deadline acquisition Tyler Mahle on the 15-day injured list over the weekend, leaving an opening in the rotation behind Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy. The club has Cole Sands as a potential depth option on the active roster, but he’s worked in shorter relief stints of late. Smeltzer has picked up 12 starts this year but not gotten out of the fourth inning in any of his last three outings, and he’ll now head back to Triple-A.