Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers should replace Anibal Sanchez in rotation for time being

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers hands the ball to manager Brad Ausmus #7 after being removed from the game in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 6, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers hands the ball to manager Brad Ausmus #7 after being removed from the game in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 6, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
PHOENIX, AZ – MAY 10: Yasmany Tomas #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off of Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers as Jose Iglesias #1 looks on during the seventh inning at Chase Field on May 10, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Detroit Tigers fans haven’t seen Anibal Sanchez pitch at the most consistent level as of late. The team should look into replacing him in the rotation.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez by and large struggled in the early part of the season.

With Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and Matthew Boyd occupying all five spots in the rotation, Sanchez worked as a long reliever.

Some of his outing were positive.

He struck out two while allowing a hit in 2.1 innings against Texas on May 19, and put up zeros against Cleveland, Minnesota and Boston on three other occasions.

However, as a whole, Sanchez’ body of work in the early part of 2017 left much to be desired.

Despite 22 strikeouts in 21 innings, the veteran was tagged for 34 hits, 26 runs (21 earned), nine home runs and nine walks.

That spits out to a 9.00 ERA, a 7.90 FIP, a 5.30 xFIP and 3.86 walks and home runs allowed per nine innings.

So yeah, not the best.

Things seemed to be turning around though after the starter went down to Toledo to work things out.

Sanchez returned to the Majors in late June and made a noticeable impact.

Armed with his butterfly changeup, the right-hander looked more like the pitcher who won an ERA title in 2013.

In his first four starts since making the return from Toledo, the former Marlin held opposing batters to a .195 batting average while pitching to a 3.09 ERA.

He also struck out 22 in 23.1 innings while allowing just eight earned runs, four walks and a singular home run.

The lack of home runs allowed was particularly encouraging considering Sanchez gave up the most long balls in baseball in 2015.

Since the beginning of that campaign, the starter has allowed 78 in 80 appearances.

For that stretch, Sanchez gave the Detroit Tigers quality outings, while also becoming a potential trade chip.

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