The Tigers activated Anibal Sanchez from the 15 day disabled list on Sunday, and have optioned Justin Miller to Toledo to make room for Sanchez on the roster. The club was expected to option starting pitcher Robbie Ray back to Toledo to make room for him on the major league roster.
However, Rick Porcello, who just pitched a gem of a game against the Red Sox in Boston on Saturday, is still feeling some tightness in his side, and will have his next start pushed back a few days. That means that Ray will be needed to make another start in the interim, which is expected to be on Thursday against the Texas Rangers.
Sanchez returns to the Tigers to start the series finale in Boston, after being on the disabled list since April 27 with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Manager Brad Ausmus has said that Sanchez will be on a pitch count limit in his first game back.
Miller had been pitching better recently, but is one of the relief pitchers in the Tiger bullpen who does have options remaining, the others being Al Alburquerque and Ian Krol. Miller has made seven appearances for the Tigers, pitching 10-1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.48, striking out five and walking just one batter.
Ray has made two starts for a total of 11-1/3 innings, posting a sparkling ERA of 0.79, striking out seven hitters and walking only two.
There has been some debate about whether Ray should remain in the Tiger bullpen, rather than returning to the rotation in Toledo. Indications from the club have been that he needs to continue in a starting role. Without a scheduled start until Thursday, and having made his last start on Sunday, May 11, it is possible that Ausmus will find a couple innings of work out of the bullpen for him prior to his next start.