Anibal Sanchez could return as relief pitcher for the postseason


Detroit Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez has not pitched in a major league game since August 8th when he left an outing against the Toronto Blue Jays with a pectoral muscle strain. Nothing significant has been said of Sanchez’s status until Monday when Jason Beck reported that Sanchez threw a successful bullpen session;

Fast forward to Tuesday, USA Today  has reported that Sanchez threw another successful bullpen session. Meaning that Sanchez has thrown consecutive bullpen sessions without any setbacks for the first time since his injury.

“I feel great”- Anibal Sanchez

It is now expected that Sanchez will see major league action in the near future, but with only 12 games remaining, Brad Ausmus’ options are limited. Depending on when Sanchez could return, he may only be able to make one start before the postseason begins. But Ausmus has expressed concerns about Sanchez’s endurance and whether or not Sanchez was capable of pitching a full game.

With that, the idea of Sanchez assuming a bullpen role for the postseason seems very realistic now.

Chris Iott of provided these quotes;

"“The tough part now with Sanchie would be getting his pitch count up high enough that he could start,” Ausmus said. “If we weren’t able to do that, the likely option would be the bullpen.” “Starting or in the bullpen, he’s certainly a talented and effective pitcher,” Ausmus said."

"“Absolutely we would much rather have a scenario in which we had to decide how to use Sanchie rather than whether we can use Sanchie.”"

Before getting injured, Sanchez sported a 8-5 record with a 3.46 ERA.

Sanchez has made only one relief appearance in his career; 2006 with the Florida Marlins, Sanchez’s rookie season.