Tigers hurler Anibal Sanchez left his start on Saturday against the Twins in the third inning due to a blister on his right middle finger, the Detroit Free Press reports. Sanchez had a 3-2 count on Twins second baseman Brian Dozier before departing. Jose Ortega took the mound in relief and finished the plate appearance by walking Dozier. The walk was charged to Sanchez.
Sanchez didn’t allow a hit to the Twins over 2 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out two.
The injury isn’t considered serious. Since the Tigers have off-days on Monday and Thursday, Drew Smyly could remain in the rotation while Sanchez’s spot in the rotation is skipped over, but that may not be necessary.
Update (7:00 PM): Sanchez does need a stint on the disabled list. The Tigers placed him on the 15-day disabled list and called up Justin Miller from Triple-A Toledo.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.