Anibal Sanchez has got to start earning his salary for the Detroit Tigers. Now’s as good a time as any to do it after the Detroit right hander signed for one of the richest MLB contracts ever for a pitcher coming into this season.
Sanchez gets the start Friday at the Kansas City Royals and will begin the post All-Star part of the schedule in hopes of putting the Tigers in control of the AL Central Division. Plenty is expected of Sanchez and rightfully so. The Tigers inked him to a five-year $80 million deal during the offseason so they could keep him in the rotation. His salary this year is $8,800,000 and it will basically double in each of the remaining four seasons.
The huge amount paid to Sanchez forced the Tigers to offer ace starter Justin Verlander even more in an extension of his contract.
The main thing is for Sanchez to stay healthy and make all of his remaining starts the rest of the season for the Tigers. He’s 7-6 in 15 starts and has a 2.93 ERA, which is lower that that of Max Scherzer, who is 13-1. He’s 1-0 after his first two games back from his three-week absence from a shoulder strain.
The Tigers simply need Sanchez to match the form he had in key starts last season. He allowed a grand slam against the Chicago White Sox in his last start. The starting staff remains solid for the Tigers, but they need Sanchez to get his act completely together. If he does, then this team is going to the playoffs.