Detroit Tigers 2016 Review: Anibal Sanchez’ Up and Down Season

Aug 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pumps his fist as he walks off the field after the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pumps his fist as he walks off the field after the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
May 14, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pitches during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Stats of Note

Relief Success

Despite struggling in the rotation, Sanchez was actually solid in his brief turn as a reliever.

Over 14.2 innings spanning nine relief outings, the 32-year-old logged a 4.30 ERA. Much of that was marred by a late relief outing in Kansas City when Sanchez allowed four hits, three runs and two home runs in just two innings of work.

Taking away that outing, the pitcher only surrendered four runs in 12.2 innings pitched. That equates to a compact 2.98 ERA.

Struggles vs Right-Handed Hitters

Should Sanchez in fact switch to a relief role, he may find more success as a specialist against left-handed batters.

Hitters batting from the right side of the plate hit .310 with a .347 on-base percentage and a robust .541 slugging percentage versus the right-hander.

Run Support Needed

In terms of splits, Sanchez struggled when receiving little run support. The starter was a combined 0-12 when receiving five runs or fewer of support.

Those numbers included a 6.39 ERA when getting two runs or fewer of support and a 7.33 ERA when Detroit scored three to five runs. As it would happen, Sanchez was 5-0 when receiving six or more runs of support.