Detroit Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez is progressing well after suffering a minor shoulder injury.
The Detroit Tigers received some good news early Tuesday morning, as it was revealed that Anibal Sanchez is making progress in his bid to recover from a minor shoulder injury. MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweeted that “Sanchez threw 50 pitches off mound this morning. Assuming no issues, he’ll throw live BP on Friday.”
This is excellent news for the Tigers, and the team’s fans. Sanchez is vital to the team, and the fact that he’s progressing toward being fully healthy can only be a positive.
In terms of seriousness, it seems as if Detroit wasn’t overly concerned about the starting pitcher’s ailment. Manager Brad Ausmus was quoted in a Detroit Free Press article saying in relation to the injury that “It doesn’t seem to be anything concerning, but I guess you’re always cringing when it involved one of your starting pitchers… It’s not really in an area where we see a ton of problems with. The MRI looked good; it just showed a little inflammation there.”
Like his manager, Sanchez himself seemed unfazed by the small setback. The starter was quoted in the same piece as saying “I’m fine, I’m good… I think it’s early. We don’t have to rush anything, especially if I have the soreness…There’s no rush right now. We have enough time to get ready for the season.”
2015 Struggles and Rebound Potential
Just as the Detroit Tigers are looking to bounce back from a dreadful 2015 season that saw the team finish in last place, Sanchez is also seeking greater success in 2016.
The starting pitcher posted uncharacteristically unsightly numbers. In 25 starts (157 innings pitched), Sanchez went 10-10 with a 4.99 ERA and 138 strikeouts. While his strikeout numbers translated to relatively positive 7.9 punch outs per nine innings, the ERA was a concern. The former Marlin allowed a league-leading 29 long balls after giving up just 33 total from 2012 to 2014. In fact, 32-year-old led the league with the fewest home runs allowed per nine innings in 2013 with 0.4.
The fact that Sanchez has limited home runs in seasons past gives all parties involved hope that he can rebound.
If he can cut down on the homers, there is definite potential that Sanchez can be elite once again. The right-hander was one of baseball’s best pitchers in 2013. In addition to a low home run rate, he also led the league in ERA (2.57), ERA+ (162) and FIP (2.39), while winning 14 games and striking out 10 batters per nine innings.
The Detroit Tigers are counting on Sanchez to serve as the team’s third starting pitcher behind Justin Verlander and Jordan Zimmermann. The team will need him to be pitching regularly in order to contend for a World Series crown.