Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez is hoping to make it back to the big leagues soon, but he's been rehabbing in the minor leagues as he recovers from an injury suffered earlier this year. That injury -- a contusion on his right index finger -- landed him on the 60-day DL back in June, but there wasn't a whole lot of information on how the ailment came about.
Sanchez revealed the cause of the injury this week, and it turns out this is another chapter we can add to the big book of Weird Baseball Injuries. It turns out Sanchez mangled his finger via his own suitcase.
"It got stuck in my suitcase and it started falling," Sanchez told the Associated Press this week. "It all happened in a span of about 30 seconds. I said 'Ow,' and my knuckle got super fat. I pitched that day, probably didn't help, but it was the first time I was going to pitch in front of my family as a professional and I wanted to see what I could do."
The incident came just hours before Sanchez pitched against the Angels on June 21. His attempt to gut it out didn't exactly go so well, as he allowed two runs in a 25-pitch first inning before being replaced. He was placed on the disabled list two days later.
As for why it took so long for the information to come out, Sanchez says he wanted to keep it a secret because he was embarrassed and wanted to avoid media scrutiny. He referenced a similar incident involving Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who spraining his left knee while carrying a suitcase up stairs in his home earlier this year.
"I didn't want to say it then because I saw Salvador Perez go down with the same injury and I didn't want to get laughed at," Sanchez said.
That seems fair, but it doesn't mean we can't laugh at him now.
Luckily, Sanchez seems to be pretty close to making his return. Following three minor-league starts, he's expected to throw a side session in Toronto this week and, barring any setbacks, could return to the Blue Jays rotation as early as this weekend.
Fortunately, the Blue Jays are in the middle of a homestand, meaning Sanchez shouldn't have to pack any luggage.