Anibal Sanchez started the season off on a wonderful note with three wins and a sparkling 1.34 ERA in the month of June. However, a few rough starts have brought Sanchez back down the earth as the Tigers’ starter has a pedestrian 6-5 record and a 2.76 ERA. Even still, Detroit will definitely miss his 101 strikeouts and impressive 1.15 WHIP.
While the Tigers are hoping to get Sanchez back as soon as possible, the Detroit roster can and will wait for Alex Avila to get healthy.
An All-Star catcher in 2011, Avila has been a shell of himself this year with a .172 batting average and 13 RBI. That season appears to be a fluke at this point, but perhaps a left forearm issue has been the reason for Avila’s gigantic slump. Either way, he needs to get out of the lineup and be replaced by someone who can actually produce on a daily basis. The Tigers will now turn to backup catcher Brayan Pena who has excelled in limited time in 2013 with a .295 batting average.
Jim Leyland will have to do some maneuvering with the disabled list getting more crowded, but outfielder Avisail Garcia and catcher Bryan Holaday were both added to the big-league roster on Monday.
We all saw the overrated Tigers slump last summer, so maybe this rash of injuries will spark another mid-season drought. For now, the pitching staff will have to buckle down and hope that the recent return of Austin Jackson can keep the offense rolling.