Detroit Tigers' starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez has nearly completed his rehabilitation, and could be activated off the disabled list and back in the Detroit rotation by the middle of this week, according to mlive.com. Sanchez has been out since August 9th with a right pectoral strain. It has also been thrown out there that the Tigers may put Sanchez in the bullpen before the playoffs.
The right-handed starter threw a simulated game on Sunday, and it appears that he's progressing as scheduled. The Tigers are reportedly targeting a return for Sanchez on either Wednesday or Thursday of this final regular season week, should he not suffer a setback.
The Tigers will most likely be extending their season into October, and they could certainly use the talented arm of Sanchez in their playoff run. However, considering the length of time he missed and the minimal amount of time left in the regular season, there is a strong chance that Sanchez could be used out of the bullpen during the postseason.
"He's open to anything," Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus said. "I've talked to him. He's open to pitching out of the pen. He's open to starting if the possibility is there. It just depends on the question of whether we can build him up and make him an effective starter with so little time left."
Sanchez has enjoyed a solid 2014 campaign, posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.10 WHIP to go along with 102 strikeouts in 125 innings pitched. The 30-year-old hasn't appeared out of the bullpen since his rookie season of 2006, but Sanchez would certainly be an interesting option in relief for Detroit, who could use any help they can get heading into October.