The Detroit Tigers currently have a couple of key players who are out with injuries, and one of them is starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, who has been sidelined with a pectoral strain and has not pitched since Aug. 8. Recently, there was a certain amount of hope that Sanchez might be able to come off of the DL and start one of the two games of a day-night doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, but it looks like that will not be happening.
It was recently reported that Sanchez has suffered a setback, and there is now concern that he will not be able to return at all this season. There are no words to describe how much the Tigers are going to miss having the reigning AL ERA leader.
The Tigers, of course, still have a powerhouse rotation with David Price, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, but now it is imperative that Justin Verlander starts performing better than a .500 pitcher with a 4.82 ERA. The Tigers will also have to find a decent No. 5 starter as well.
Rookie pitchers Robbie Ray and Buck Farmer have struggled lately in their respective spot starts, and the Tigers will be giving 25-year-old Kyle Lobstein his first start of the season on Thursday against the New York Yankees. Lobstein, who made his MLB debut on Aug. 23, has pitched 5.2 innings of relief for the Tigers, posting a 4.76 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. He was 9-11 with a 4.07 ERA in 25 starts in Toledo. Hopefully he can give the Tigers a good game.
Sanchez’s setback comes as a devastating blow as the Tigers are still fighting for a playoff spot, trailing the Kansas City Royals by 1.5 games in the AL Central and the Seattle Mariners by a half game for the second AL Wild Card spot. It certainly hurts to have a pitcher of Sanchez’s caliber on the shelf at such a pivotal point in time.