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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tigers Injury Update: Anibal Sanchez throws bullpen, could return as reliever

By on 9/16/2014 07:00:00 PM

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Monday afternoon and reported no soreness in the right pectoral muscle that has had him sidelined since August 9. He should throw another bullpen session within a few days and then maybe a simulated game. If all goes well, Sanchez could return in time for the postseason. However, the Tigers will have to determine if Sanchez will start or relieve, says Jason Beck of

In his Monday night report, Beck explained that Sanchez may not have his pitch count up in time to return to the rotation before the season ends and the postseason begins. Beck says that Sanchez would have to get two starts in before next Tuesday, September 23, to work his pitch count back up to starter levels.

Sanchez could, though, become a valuable bullpen man because of his hard fastball and plethora of off-speed pitches. In addition, as Beck reminds us, Sanchez has held hitters to a combined .176 average in his first inning of work each game. That type of performance would prove vital in a relief role.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus just wants his pitcher back regardless of the role. Beck quoted Ausmus describing the value that Sanchez brings to the Tigers in whatever capacity he can serve. Said Ausmus,
"He was the ERA leader in the American League. You certainly would rather have him, whether he's starting or in the bullpen. He's a very effective pitcher. Absolutely, we would much rather have a scenario in which we have to decide how to use Sanchez as opposed to whether we can use Sanchez."
Sanchez is 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 21 starts this season.

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