Mar 9, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
#2: Can Anibal Sanchez Stay Healthy?
When the Detroit Tigers lost Anibal Sanchez down the stretch last season, it was a huge blow to the team’s playoff chances. Luckily by holding such a head-to-head dominance over the second-place Kansas City Royals, they didn’t have to worry too much about getting to the postseason even if they had to wait to clinch the division on the final day of the season.
Motor City Bengals
Sanchez missed about seven weeks from August 8 until the final home stand of the season, and it was his second DL stint of the season. The earlier DL stint was less severe, missing time because of a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. When he came back in May, he was one of the Tigers few bright spots during their infamous 9-19 slide and the most consistent starter through July and into August.
The Tigers weathered the storm without him as much as possible with rookie Kyle Lobstein filling in admirably, but the team truly missed the mystique of Sanchez going every fifth day.
When healthy, Sanchez could be an ace on practically any team in baseball. His 2013 year was extremely solid but was upstaged by Max Scherzer’s Cy Young season. Anibal went 14-8 with an AL-best 2.57 ERA and a WHIP of 1.154.