In need of a starter with Anibal Sanchez and Daniel Norris going on the disabled list today, the Tigers have acquired Randy Wolf from the Blue Jays for cash considerations. The veteran left-hander will start against the Rangers on Saturday, which is also his 39th birthday.
After making six appearances (four starts) with the Marlins last season, Wolf has pitched exclusively in the minors this season while putting up a 2.58 ERA and 106/40 K/BB ratio in 139 2/3 innings over 23 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. With no clear opening on the major league roster, he requested his release earlier this week. Things ended up working out pretty well for him.
The Tigers will be Wolf’s eight major league team. As Jason Beck of MLB.com notes, Tigers managers Brad Ausmus previously caught Wolf in three starts from 2008-2009 when they were teammates with the Astros and Dodgers. The dynamic will be a little different this time around.
Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who has a long history of shoulder injuries, has been placed on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain.
Sanchez has struggled for much of the season, but he’s been particularly bad recently while allowing 17 runs in 20 innings this month. Knowing the 31-year-old’s injury history and the fact that he’s still owed another $38 million for the next two years it’s possible the Tigers will simply decide to shut Sanchez down for the season.
In the third year of a five-year, $80 million contract, Sanchez has worked 182, 126, and 157 innings for Detroit while posting ERAs of 2.57, 3.43, and 4.99. Like much of the Tigers’ aging core, he’s very expensive and trending in the wrong direction.
Remember that time Twins outfielder Torii Hunter disrobed in protest of his ejection from a game? And then was suspended two games for it? Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez — a teammate of Hunter’s in Detroit in 2013 and ’14 — jokingly mocked it as Hunter took batting practice prior to Friday night’s game.
Joe Davis of FOX Sports has video:
Sanchez pitched on Wednesday, so he won’t be starting in the three-game weekend set against the Twins. Hunter, however, will be in the lineup in an attempt to exact revenge against his former team.
Update #2 (9:53 PM EST): For those who are still keeping tabs on this game, the top of the eighth inning just finished. The Jays have scored six runs, reducing their deficit to 8-6 against the Tigers. Following Carrera’s single to break up the no-hitter, the Jays singled twice more to knock in one run. Then, with Alex Wilson pitching in relief of Sanchez, Josh Donaldson singled to bring in two more runs. Wilson issued a walk and induced a pop-up before allowing a three-run double to Dioner Navarro. Bruce Rondon came in to relieve Wilson and uncorked a wild pitch before walking Justin Smoak to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Rondon was able to get Kevin Pillar to pop up to end the inning.
Despite finishing four outs away from a no-hitter, Sanchez didn’t even qualify for a quality start. His final line: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
Update (9:28 PM EST): Sanchez lost his no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning when Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera flared a single to left center.
We have another no-hit bid in progress. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez has held the Blue Jays hitless through seven innings in Friday night’s game at Comerica Park. It’s a doubly impressive feat considering the Blue Jays own the best offense in baseball by far, averaging 5.44 runs per game entering Friday’s action.
The only blemishes on Sanchez’s line are a pair of walks. The first was drawn by Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the second inning and the second came with one out in the seventh inning. Sanchez has struck out four. The Tigers have backed Sanchez with seven runs, five of which came in the fourth inning.
Stay tuned as Sanchez attempts to complete the no-no. It would be the second of his career, as he also accomplished the feat on September 6, 2006 as a member of the Marlins against the Diamondbacks.
Despite it seeming like a pitcher flirts with a no-hitter once every couple of days, only two pitchers have actually closed the deal on a no-hitter this year: Chris Heston for the Giants and Max Scherzer for the Nationals.