The Detroit Tigers' staff has been thrown a bit of a curveball following the announcement that Anibal Sanchez has been placed on the 15-day DL with a lacerated finger.
The Tigers ace, who re-signed with the club in the off-season, as reported previously by Inquistr, was 0-2 with a 3.13 ERA in five games this year.
The trouble started for Sanchez during yesterday's game against the Minnesota Twins. Anibal was pulled from the game despite tossing 2 2/3 hitless innings because of a blister on his right throwing hand. Sanchez was surprised by his injury after the blister erupted on the field. Manager Brad Ausmus commented on Anibal's popped blister to the media, via the Detroit Free Press following the game:
"It looked nasty. As soon as I went out there and saw it, I was caught between throwing up and wanting to pull him out of the game.... It was gross... flopping skin."
Sanchez echoed his managers sentiments as well. He told reporters after the game: "I've never had a blister like that before. I don't know how long I'll have to wait for that part of my finger to recover."
As pointed out by CBS Sports, a nagging injury like a finger blister can have long term ramifications on Sanchez if he does not deal with it immediately:
"While finger blisters obviously are on the less serious end of the pitching-injury continuum, they can prove hard to shake. To cite one famous example, Josh Beckett early in his career was forced to the disabled list multiple times because of blister problems."
The Tigers bullpen meanwhile, suffered greatly in Anibal's absence. The recently called up right-hander Jose Ortega was brought in to help an already taxed middle-relief corps, but his outing did not produce the results the Tigers were looking for. The Twins pummeled Ortega who had difficulties finding the strike zone, with only 11 strikes thrown from 36 pitches:
"Due to Ortega's wildness, the short-term ramifications of Sanchez's exit weren't any better than the long-term ones," The Detroit Free Press reported. "In the fifth inning, Ortega faced four batters. Three walked, and the other reached on a sacrifice attempt that led to a throwing error. All four scored, and the Tigers lost, 5-3."
Anibal Sanchez was due start Friday for the Tigers in Kansas City, but now will likely miss at least two more starts due to his finger laceration. And the Tigers bullpen meanwhile, needs to find a way to get the job done in his absence.