DETROIT -- Anibal Sanchez hasn't been himself this season. On Thursday, the Detroit Tigers announced they had placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a right rotator cuff strain. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus also said that Daniel Norris -- who was also put on the 15-day DL -- will have a DL stint of a "minimum of two weeks."
To replace both Norris and Sanchez, the Tigers recalled right-handed reliever Jose Valdez, and called up Mud Hens closer Guido Knudson. In Knudson's case, when Detroit placed the call for relief help, Ausmus said that Toledo manager Larry Parrish, pitching coordinator A.J. Sager, and pitching coach Mike Moroth noted Knudson was the "one guy they recommended above all others."
While there is an option to look outside the team for starting help, particularly with the waiver wires, the team has looked within the organization for relief. Michael Fulmer, a pitcher recently acquired in the Yoenis Cespedes trade, has been discussed as an option, but no decisions have been made.
Sanchez's velocity has decreased throughout the season, and on Wednesday the right hander went to Ausmus and the trainers regarding the issues, the first real sign that the Tigers' rotation would be down another pitcher, Ausmus said.
"(Sanchez) said he's felt it over the last couple months, he's felt it at times," Ausmus said. "He really got concerned after his last start in Chicago, cause now his elbow is a little bit sore. Now, there's no issue with the elbow but he was concerned that because of the shoulder issue he was compensating too much with the elbow, and that's why it was sore.
"But we don't think it's -- again, the doctor's not looked at all the film, we just got an initial diagnosis -- but we don't think it'll be anything more than a regular 15-day DL stint."
With both Sanchez and Daniel Norris now on the 15-day DL, the Tigers are two starters short of a full starting roster. Norris had been pulled from his start in the fifth inning on Wednesday and then went on the DL with a right oblique strain.
With the exception of David Price and Alfredo Simon (who pitched through an injury of his own) the entire Tigers rotation has spent time on the DL at some point this season. Kyle Lobstein is still rehabbing in Toledo and will be starting on Friday, so Ausmus said that it's unlikely that he will be recalled.
Matt Boyd is a possibility to still start on Saturday but Ausmus would prefer to bump his start back a day and find someone to slot in for Monday's start -- Norris' original slot. The Tigers expect to have more information either after Thursday night's game or on Friday.