The talk around the Detroit Tigers pitching this year has begun and ended with Max Scherzer for the majority of the season and while that is fair for the most part, there has been a Tigers pitcher that has quietly posted numbers equal to or sometimes exceeding the perceived ace of the Tigers rotation.
Anibal Sanchez’s ERA sits at 2.50, which is lower than a Miley Cyrus music video. Anibal also owns a nearly 4-1 strikeout to walk ratio, and has been an innings eater for this Tigers team. The only number that Anibal really doesn’t stack up in is his record.
To penalize Sanchez for his record and to reward Scherzer for his record when they play on the same team would be a tragedy.
Is it really Anibal’s fault that for some reason, the clock strikes midnight on the Tigers hitters just before his starts? There is a case that could be made that Sanchez is secretly the best pitcher on this staff, and the later the season gets, the more Sanchez seems to increase his profile. If that trend continues these last two weeks, maybe it could be another Tigers pitcher shockingly getting the crown.
I think public perception has damaged Anibal more than anything. He has gone about his business in a quiet, unflashy way and has missed most media coverage because of his record, which is really of no fault of his own. The numbers he could control have been nearly flawless and at the top of each category in the AL.
If you look at the race from pure numbers and cover up wins and losses, which is sort of a fluky, you would be hard-pressed to find a pitcher who has been better than Anibal Sanchez. He deserves to be in this AL Cy Young race.