Sanchez appeared in long relief Sunday against the Royals and allowed four hits including two home runs in 2.0 innings of work. He struck out three. Long balls continue to scar Sanchez's season and his value overall. This season has been his worst with a 1.76 HR/9 rating and his velocity is dropping -- his once 93 mph fastball now sits at 91.1 mph. At 32, Sanchez's game appears to be in decline and he will need to adjust his approach to successfully earn a rotation spot in 2017.
Sanchez logged five innings Thursday in Game 1 of the Tigers' doubleheader, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He didn't factor into the decision. He did allow one home run -- the major flaw throughout his career -- but half of the batted-balls he yielded were grounders. Buck Farmer had taken Sanchez's rotation spot Wednesday, but maybe this will help the veteran work back into Detroit's good graces. With such little time left in the regular season, however, that may not matter much to many fantasy players. Despite an impressive 8.06 K/9 and 1.84 BB/9 after the All-Star break, Sanchez holds an atrocious 5.90 ERA on the year. The 32-year-old has one season left on his deal with Detroit yet might not crack the starting five next year.
Sanchez will move to the Tigers' bullpen as of Tuesday, MLive's Evan Woodberry reports. Buck Farmer will take Sanchez's rotation spot Wednesday, and while Farmer is not guaranteed of keeping that spot over the final two weeks, Sanchez will be available in relief. There is one year and $16.8 million remaining on Sanchez's contract, along with a $5 million buyout for 2018, so it will be interesting to see how he is used in 2017 with several young hurlers looking like better options in the rotation going forward.
Sanchez pitched four innings, allowing six runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven in a no-decision Wednesday versus the Twins. Sanchez logged three perfect innings until Dozier belted the first pitch of the fourth for his 41st home run. Minnesota's next three hitters reached base and scored, three on a Kurt Suzuki home run. Over his last five starts, Sanchez has allowed 17 runs over 26.2 innings (5.74 ERA). Overall, the veteran right-hander has been better during the second half of 2016 (4.81 ERA) than prior to the break (6.75 ERA), but that isn't saying much. Sanchez's fantasy value is limited to deeper leagues.
Sanchez tossed five innings of three-run ball against the White Sox on Tuesday, giving up eight hits and a walk while striking out three and receiving a no-decision. Sanchez kept the Tigers in contention Wednesday, and left the game after five innings with the score tied 3-3. He had thrown just 84 pitches, consistent with the way the Tigers have handled him this season, as Sanchez hasn't thrown more than 100 pitches since early May. Sanchez now has a 5.69 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 24 starts on the year, having spent some time in the bullpen as well. At 7-13, he'll look to pick up his eighth win against the Twins on Tuesday.