The Detroit Tigers placed right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10 for a right pectoral muscle strain.
The Detroit Tigers placed right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanche on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10.
According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, the Tigers' starter suffered a right muscle pectoral strain and is expected to be out for three to four weeks. Detroit also placed reliever Joakim Soria on the 15-day DL due to a left oblique strain:
"What looked like a clear path to the postseason for the Tigers now looks like a race for the American League Central. It's a race the Tigers are going to have to run for the foreseeable future without starter Anibal Sanchez are reliever Joakim Soria.
"Both right-handers went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning -- Sanchez with a right pectoral muscle strain, and Soria with a left oblique strain.
"Team president/GM Dave Dombrowski said the timetable is relatively flexible on Sanchez, depending on how quickly the pectoralis major muscle heals. However, Dombrowski said he anticipates Sanchez missing 3-4 weeks.
"'It will depend on when he's asymptomatic,' Dombrowski said, given this history of oblique injuries among other players.
"'They're usually two or three weeks,' Dombrowski said.
"Even at the low end, however, both injuries take a chunk of depth out of a Tigers pitching staff that has largely carried the team since the All-Star break, while Detroit's offense has struggled to find its early-summer rhythm.
"The Tigersa are in the midst of a three-city, nine-game road trip that will take them to Pittsburgh early next week. They'll have to fill Sanchez's spot for at least the next three turns through the rotation.
"For Wednesday, that spot goes to left-hander Robbie Ray, who filled in for Sanchez when he missed three weeks in May with a lacerated finger. Ray, the Tigers' No. 2 prospect in the return package for Doug Fister in a trade last fall, went 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in three starts in that stretch, allowing eight runs on 19 hits over 15 1/3 innings.
"The 22-year-old Ray has had an up-and-down summer at Triple-A Toledo, struggling with various points with his command. His seven innings of one-run ball against a talented squad of (Pittsburgh) Pirates prospects at Indianapolis last Monday, however, provided some encouragement.
"'He's thrown the ball much better recently,' Dombrowski said. 'He ran through a little bit of a time period when he wasn't throwing very well.'
"The Tigers did not immediately announce a replacement for Soria, instead putting off that move for Monday. With Ray not needed until Wednesday, Detroit could announce two bullpen additions for the upcoming two-game series at Pittsburgh."
ESPN's Christina Kahrl weighed in on the latest injuries to hit the Tigers in her Aug. 10 blog:
"If you went by star power and expectations alone, the Detroit Tigers were supposed to have long since sewed up the AL Central. But (as) much as they had trouble fending off the Cleveland Indians last year, this year it looks as if events will conspire to keep them closer to the Kansas City Royals. Because make no mistake, David Price or no David Price, losing Anibal Sanchez for as much as four weeks and Joakim Soria for most of August isn't going to help matters any.
"First, there's the matter of timing. Losing Sanchez couldn't happen at a worse moment, with the Royals just a game-and-a-half back. Whether Sanchez misses three or four weeks, he's out of the picture for a stretch on the schedule when the Tigers have to play two doubleheaders, both on the road, the first on Aug. 23 against the (Minnesota) Twins and then again a week later on the 30th against the (Chicago) White Sox.
"That means we may see the Tigers turning not just to their sixth guy on their rotation depth chart (probably Robbie Ray) but also their seventh (which may or may not be Drew VerHagen, since he's lost time to a back injury).
"Then, in the bullpen you have the challenge of replacing Soria at a time when Joe Nathan is doing his best Papa Grande impression when it comes to late-game spontaneous combustion. Nathan isn't alone when it comes to failing to provide relief: Al Alburquerque and lefties Ian Krol and Phil Coke have combined to allow 35 of 101 inherited runners to score, worse than league average, and much worse than what you'd expect for a late-game crew handed plenty of leads on a contending team.
"That all three have inherited more than 30 baserunners apiece reflects their usage pattern, because rookie skipper Brad Ausmus has already been very matchup-conscious this season: Tigers relievers average less than an inning per appearance, getting an AL-low 2.8 outs per appearance (the only other manager appearing less than three outs from his relievers is the hyper-kinetic Terry Francona with the Indians).
"Soria was supposed to help that fix that by giving the Tigers someone besides Joba Chamberlain to work in more of a setup than a situational role, but that's off the table for at least two weeks."
The Tigers currently sport a 63-52 (.548) win-loss record through Aug. 11 and maintain a slim half-game lead over the Kansas City Royals for first place in the American League Central division.
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