NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays have decided to give right-hander Aaron Sanchez an extra day of rest, and they will instead use lefty J.A. Happ in Thursday's series finale against the Yankees.
Sanchez was originally scheduled to make that start, but Toronto continues to keep a close eye on his workload. The young righty, who will now face the Red Sox on Friday night, is on an innings limit this season, but the club has not publicly identified what that number will be.
Toronto manager John Gibbons announced the move prior to Tuesday night's game against New York. He also referenced the high number of left-handed hitters in the Yankees' lineup as another reason behind the decision, but said most of it had to do with giving Sanchez some extra rest.
"Give Sanchy an extra day," Gibbons said. "[We've been] looking to do that. Boston is predominantly right-handed, and these guys are lefty and switch [hitters], but the primary reason is to give him an extra day when we can."
The 23-year-old Sanchez has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. He is 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA while striking out 52 and walking 21 over 59 innings. At times, he has been borderline dominant and is one of the main reasons Toronto's rotation has been an early strength.
The plan for Sanchez heading into the season was to spend part of the year as a starter before moving to the bullpen. That appears to still be the case, but by providing periodic breaks, he could have a longer shelf life in the rotation. Sanchez has never thrown more than 133 1/3 innings in a season.
"He has been good," Gibbons said. "He's coming into his own, he really is."
With the exception of one poor outing, Happ has been equally as effective for Toronto this season. He is 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA and will now face a Yankees team that entered play on Tuesday night with a .646 OPS vs. lefties, which is the second-worst mark in the American League.
Bautista's hearing set for Thursday
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista will officially go through the appeal process on Thursday for his one-game suspension. Bautista was recently suspended one game for his role in the fracas between the Rangers and Blue Jays, but the veteran slugger opted to appeal the league's decision.
Bautista's hearing will take place in New York. He is attempting to have the one-game suspension overturned, but if MLB sticks with its decision, he will need to sit out a game at an unspecified date.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.