To add onto that, the injuries have started to pile up for the Tigers.
The first big name player to hit the disabled list is relief pitcher Joakim Soria. Soria was put on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. The Tigers traded for Soria just over two weeks ago to help a bullpen that continues to struggle and be one of the worst in the American League. While Soria didn’t start off so hot with Detroit, he started to find his groove his last four appearances. The loss of Soria’s experience will be missed for a bullpen that makes you hold your breath whenever someone is called upon.
An injury that may be worse is the loss of starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
The same day the Tigers placed Soria on the disabled list, Sanchez joined him. In the middle of his start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sanchez seemed to have injured himself on a pickoff attempt to first base. Sanchez would then attempt to stretch out his arm before being approached by the training staff. Sanchez left the game and was placed on the disabled list with a right pectoral strain. He is expected to miss about three to four weeks. This will be Sanchez’s second time on the DL this season as he is considered of the best pitchers in the rotation.
The Tigers called up pitcher Robbie Ray from the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens to replace Sanchez in the rotation. This is will be Ray’s second time being called up as he was Sanchez’s replacement earlier this season when Sanchez was on the DL before.
Probably the biggest injury the Tigers have now that they have to worry about is regarding the health of pitcher Justin Verlander.
Verlander left Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with shoulder soreness after just one inning pitched. In that inning, Verlander gave up five runs with four of them being earned. Verlander was expected to go deep into the ball game after the bullpen was pushed to the limit against the Blue Jays after a heartbreaking 19-inning loss. While Verlander has struggled this season, he is still a viable pitcher in a rotation that looks to be down two starters at the moment. Verlander will undergo an MRI today to see the significance of the injury.
The Tigers’ struggles and injuries are coming at the worst time as the Royals are red hot and will look to build their lead in the division.
Look for the Tigers to make do with what they can until these big name players can come back healthy.