The Tigers 6-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners Monday night wasn’t the only bad news for Tiger fans.
Anibal Sanchez is back in the rotation, which in the long run will turn into a disaster. He pitched well enough for manager Brad Ausmus to say he earned another start. I don’t trust Sanchez to be consistently good. And if Ausmus says he will start again, it means he is in the rotation. That’s how the Tigers roll.
They gave Dontrelle Willis too many starts in 2008 when it was apparent he was washed up. He never recaptured the 22-10 season he enjoyed with the Florida Marlins, winning just two games in three seasons with the Tigers.
After demoting Francisco Rodriguez from the closers role and benching him, the Tigers are beginning to pitch him in big spots again. That won’t turn out well either as he gave up his eighth home run in the last 24 innings last night.
The location of his pitches are not bad but the pitches lack bite and people are launching them into space.
Sanchez spent three weeks in Toledo with the Mud Hens “refreshing” himself after a tough start in the bull pen. Sanchez now has a 7.96 earned run average and 1.9 WHIP.
He worked on his mechanics in Toledo and his goal was to make every pitch look the same coming out of his hands but doing different things at the plate. It worked for one night.
He was not brilliant but good enough to impress the Tigers. He gave up two runs, five hits and three walks in five innings of work. He also gave up a home run but did not take the loss.
“He threw pretty well,” Ausmus told reporters after the game. “I thought he did a good job locating his fast ball, change up was good, mixed in the breaking ball. He did a nice job.”
Here is the problem. The Tigers (32-37) are 5 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central, three games out of the last wild card spot and are fading. Some how they must catch heat, but at the same time will chase some Sanchez magic that may never come by giving him more starts. That could be the difference between the playoffs and going home early.