With glove and video game console, Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez ready to throw

Gaming helps Aaron Sanchez prepare for mound

HASH(0xbec178)

TORONTO — As with pitching, Aaron Sanchez takes his video gaming seriously.

“I don’t want to talk myself up but I think I play way too much. So if I’m not good then there’s a problem,” he said with a smile.

The 24-year-old Blue Jays right-hander is featured on the Canadian cover of “MLB The Show 17,” the newly released baseball game for the PlayStation 4. 

For Sanchez, the game is more than fun. It helps him keep up with the major leagues.

“If I have time pre-game on my start, there’s an option where it shows all the games that are going to be played that day and you can go and pick the matchup in terms of pitchers, how they think the lineup’s going to be,” he said.

The game also regularly updates rosters, inserting call-ups in the lineup if it thinks they will start.

“So I’ll try to get a little scouting report before the game in terms of what guys like to do,” said Sanchez, who went 15-2 last season and led the American League in earned-run average at 3.00. “There’s (hitting) hot zones that are pretty (true) to real life.

“It might sound a little weird that you can get a scouting report from a video game but it’s definitely possible,” he added with a laugh.

Sanchez grew up gaming in Barstow, Calif., at least as much as his parents would allow him.

“When I had the free time, I was definitely either on my PlayStation Portable or in the backroom where my parents didn’t know that I was playing,” he said with a laugh. “But I’ve always played ‘The Show’ and (am) just humbled to even be on the cover of this and representing PlayStation. So it’s cool.”

In being the game’s Canadian cover boy, Sanchez is following in the footsteps of teammates Jose Bautista (2012, ’13) and Russell Martin (2015) and the now departed Brett Lawrie (2014).

Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson was also on the cover for both the Canadian and U.S. editions last year.

This year, the U.S. cover features Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

“I think that was one of the most cool experiences about this,” said Sanchez. “I always joke around with my friends and call myself The Kid, (so) to be a cover athlete with the actual Kid is something surreal.”

When Sanchez isn’t playing “The Show,” he favours EA Sports’ NHL title over the FIFA game that is popular with some of his teammates.

“It’s a little bit more fast-paced,” he said. “Soccer is not really something that I watch in real-life. I tend to play games that are something I like. I’ll play Madden, I’ll play Supercross, I’ll play golf.”

When he plays “The Show,” he’ll usually opt for a new challenge.

“I know myself so well in the game that I’ll try to play my friends in the league. So sometimes I play the Phillies and pitch as (Vince) Velasquez. Sometimes I play the Mets and pitch as (Noah) Syndergaard.”

But there are times when he plays for keeps.

“If I’m playing and I really want to beat them, I’ll usually pick the Jays and pitch myself because I know me the best.”

Gaming usually beckons at night for Sanchez.

“My routine is right before bed. If I have time to play after the game when my day’s done, I’ll get on there and play some friends or play my ‘Road to the Show’ or get on my season mode I’ve started. I do play as much as time allows, I guess you could say.”

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Whalers stop Saints from marching ahead in OT

Ballenas junior varsity to face Vernon Panthers in the finals at BC Place Dec. 2

Flood risks downgraded in the RDN

Effective immediately, the Regional District of Nanaimo is deactivating it’s Level 1… Continue reading

Qualicum Beach councillor wants First Nations to be recognized

Barry Avis wants to acknowledge traditional land before town meetings

VIDEO: Parksville Qualicum Beach firefighters come up big in annual food drive

Thousands of pounds of food donations gathered for food bank

Qualicum Beach age restriction bylaw sent back to staff for changes

Legal non-conforming status could effect property values, councillor says

Parksville gift shop turned into gingerbread house

Resort buys hundreds of pounds of gingerbread, icing and candy

Vehicle found, woman still missing, last seen in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

SOS, Tigh-Na-Mara team to put toys under trees in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Ninth annual toy drive part of 50th SOS Christmas program

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Mounties dismantle counterfeiters ring with raid in Maple Bay Thursday

Counterfeiting paraphernalia found along with firearms, stolen property as police swept in Nov. 23

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Most Read