Sanchez's hot hand nets save for Blue Jays

Sanchez's hot hand nets save for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays might have a mini-competition at the back end of their bullpen after rookie right-hander Aaron Sanchez picked up the first save of his career during Saturday afternoon's 2-0 victory over the Yankees.

Sanchez pitched a clean eighth and was then brought back for the ninth. That spot is normally reserved for veteran closer Casey Janssen, but in this case, manager John Gibbons decided to stick with the hot hand.

That meant Janssen was relegated to the role of observer while Sanchez retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to preserve the win.

"We're trying to maximize who he is," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Sanchez, the Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect and the 38th-best prospect in baseball, according to "We don't want to throw him necessarily on back-to-back days, unless we're forced to. So if he goes out there and has one inning under his belt and it's easy, we're going to ride him."

Gibbons said after Saturday's game that he informed Janssen of the club's plan for Sanchez earlier this month in Seattle. Despite that claim, it would appear as though Janssen was caught off guard by Toronto's decision on Saturday afternoon.

Janssen started warming up under the assumption that the ninth inning would be his, but the call to the bullpen was never made. Instead, Sanchez made his way back out to record his first save while facing the team against which he recorded his first win, on July 27.

Janssen struggled after the All-Star break, perhaps in part because he lost 10 pounds after coming down with a severe case of food poisoning. He has two blown saves in his past three opportunities, dating back to the start of the month, but he looked a lot stronger during his last outing, on Tuesday.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.