Toronto expects to skip some of Sanchez's starts

Righty remaining in rotation, but innings still need to be monitored

Toronto expects to skip some of Sanchez's starts

TORONTO -- Aaron Sanchez is staying in the rotation, but the Blue Jays still need to monitor his innings to make sure that role is a possibility for the entire season.

Toronto expects to skip at least a couple of Sanchez's starts over the next six weeks, but, at least for now, the club is not commenting on when that will happen.

Sanchez has tossed a career-high 145 1/3 innings this season, and the Blue Jays want to make sure they don't push him too far. He was originally going to move to the bullpen as a way to limit his workload but instead opted for a modified starting plan.

"We're going to bump him along the way," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Friday afternoon. "That's going to happen."

Toronto has six starters in its rotation: Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Liriano and Sanchez. Pitching with one extra day of rest should be manageable, but it gets a little bit more complicated when the schedule calls for two or more extra days of rest.

The Blue Jays ran into such a scenario this week because of a team off-day on Thursday. There are two more off-days later this month, and it seems likely that Toronto would skip Sanchez around those dates to avoid disrupting everybody else's schedule more than is necessary.

"All of that factors in," Gibbons said.

Zeke nears return
Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night. Carrera has been out since July 31 because of soreness in his left Achilles. The veteran outfielder is expected to return Tuesday in New York.

Upon his return, Carrera is expected to assume everyday duties in the outfield. Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista are on the 15-day disabled list, and while Melvin Upton Jr. has become the temporary everyday guy in center, there is room for another. Junior Lake or Darrell Ceciliani would then become the club's fourth outfielder.

"He'll play there through the weekend," Gibbons said of Carrera's stint in Buffalo. "He's moving along. He's ready to go."

Carrera is batting .258 with a .346 on-base percentage in 75 games this season.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for 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.