Consistency: it’s what you look for in a car, it’s what you look for from a bartender making you your frozen cotton-candy-flavored margaritas, and it’s what the Detroit Tigers have found in Aníbal Sánchez. Well, we didn’t really find him. I mean, the Tigers found him in the same way that Christopher Columbus found America in that we’ve took him from a disorganized group and claimed him for our own.
Thursday marked Sánchez’s last appearance with the Tigers before leaving for the WBC. Fortunately, it’s only the mildly-annoying World Baseball Classic and not the in-your-face-obnoxiously-grotesque Westboro Baptist Church that he’s temporarily leaving us for.
Sánchez has been solid during spring training so far; through five innings pitched he has given up seven hits, but has yet to let anyone cross home plate—not bad for a guy who’s the projected fourth starter on the team. Even in the playoffs last year he wasn’t praised like he should have been because he went 1-2. Yet, in those two losses he gave up only four runs combined while receiving a combined zero runs in support. He finished the playoffs with an ERA of 1.77 and a WHIP of 0.98—fantastic numbers that were not focused on due to the anti-climactic end to the playoffs which left Detroit fans in a crippling, pessimistic depression.
Look for Sánchez to have a very solid 2013 campaign. He’s going to get the run support he needs, he’s uses an arsenal of five pitches with home games in a pitchers’ park, and he throws that dirty, Sánchez-esque slider that handcuffs right-handed hitter with two-strike counts. Good luck in the WBC, Sanchez; we can’t wait until you’re back.
Justin Gawel is a saltine cracker enthusiast who mainly writes for Rant Sports about the Detroit Tigers. Follow him on Google+ for all of his article postings.