Detroit Tigers: Significance of a Potential Anibal Sanchez Bounce-Back
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez struggled in 2016. However, if the veteran can turn things around for the coming season, the Tigers could stand to benefit greatly.
Detroit Tigers fans saw Anibal Sanchez have a rough 2016 season on the mound.
The starting pitcher, who previously led the American League in ERA and FIP back in 2013, saw his ERA balloon to 5.87 last season.
What’s more, his FIP finished at an unsightly 5.06.
Perhaps the main reason for those numbers was the uptick in hits, walks and home runs allowed by the former Marlin.
Sanchez allowed 10 hits per nine innings in 2016, up from 8.7 the year before.
Additionally, his home runs allowed rate increased from 1.7 to 1.8. All told, the pitcher allowed 30 home runs in 153.1 frames.
Last but not least are the walks. Sanchez was tagged for 3.1 free passes per nine innings, his highest rate since 2010.
However, there were a few bright spots to be had.
The 32-year-old showed flashes of his old form at multiple points in 2016.
These included a four-start stretch in July when Sanchez logged a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings. He also struck out 27 over the same span, including two games of 10 punch outs.
Just a few weeks later the veteran fired off seven shutout innings against the Royals, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks while striking out eight.
If he can produce at a similar rate, or at least pitch like he did in 2014 when the starter posted a 3.43 ERA, a 1.095 WHIP and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings, the Detroit Tigers will stand to benefit.