Anibal Sanchez has been sidelined since April 26 due to a blister on his right middle finger, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Tigers’ starting rotation.
Jason Beck of MLB.com notes that Sanchez threw 60 pitches over four simulated innings earlier today. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave his throwing session a “thumbs-up” and said that his stuff looked good, but they’ll see how he feels tomorrow before announcing the next step. The hope right now is that he’ll be able to return to pitch Sunday night against the Red Sox.
Coming off an AL-best 2.57 ERA last season, Sanchez posted a 3.13 ERA and 24/11 K/BB ratio in 23 innings over his first five starts this year prior to landing on the disabled list.
Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.
Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.
Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.