How Will Anibal Sanchez Affect the Detroit Tigers In His Return?

By Brent Smith
Jesse Johnson- USA TODAY Sports

Anibal Sanchez returns to pitching today after a DL stint that left him away from the team for over 20 days as the Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians in the second game of the four game series.

Sanchez was missed in his absence especially recently with the starting staff, minus Max Scherzer, struggling in the past week or two, and missing that big punch it had previously. While Jose Alvarez tried to fill in and did so admirably, this Tigers staff gets taken to a whole new level when adding Sanchez into the mix.

It will be interesting to see how Anibal comes out and pitches as he did not really get a chance to get rehab starts. The big question will be how effective he can be in his first start back and can he pitch deep into the game? Luckily, with Rick Porcello‘s big start last night, the bullpen is fresh and ready if need be.

Sanchez will look to continue the Tigers’ recent hot streak and extend their win streak to five games. The Tigers are now 7-2 against the Cleveland Indians, including winning the last six matchups. The offense has found themselves recently and it has been a top to bottom effort getting key contributions the last few nights from even the bench players like Ramon Santiago and Don Kelly.

There is no question the Tigers are a much better team when it can score big time runs without needing Miguel Cabrera to hit in everything. When that bottom half of the lineup can be successful, that is when the Tigers can threaten with big run innings. The pitching has also been great the past few days and Porcello had some of his best stuff of the season, easily cruising past the Indians’ bats.

We will see if the Tigers can keep the hot streak going and really start to look to put some distance between them and the rest of the AL Central. Life can’t be this good, can it be Tigers fans? Things are going too well. Surely they must know that July is much too early to let Tigers fans feel great and in control of the division right? Being a Tigers fan means always keeping one eye open.

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