Tigers optimistic Sanchez has strain, not tear

Righty's 2015 season still likely over

Tigers optimistic Sanchez has strain, not tear

DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez is scheduled for a consultation Wednesday with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on Sanchez's throwing shoulder in 2007. The Tigers are hopeful he won't need anything that drastic this time around on his sore rotator cuff.

"I don't think it's overly concerning at this point," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I think it's just reconfirming [the original diagnosis of a rotator cuff strain]."

Pitching coach Jeff Jones said the same, saying the fact that Sanchez is feeling the same issue as before suggests it hasn't gotten worse.

Likewise, Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, characterized the exam as precautionary, aimed at confirming the original diagnosis.

Even if it's just a strain, Sanchez's 2015 season would appear to be over. It took Sanchez just under four weeks to get to this point, where he was on the verge of a start. As badly as Sanchez wants peace of mind going into the offseason, with two-and-a-half weeks left in the season, the more sensible option would appear to be to wait.

Regardless, the setback has a ripple effect in the Tigers' starting rotation. What was originally scheduled as a piggyback start Wednesday, with Sanchez and Daniel Norris throwing 45-50 pitches each, is now a start for Norris in his return from an oblique injury suffered Aug. 19. He, too, is expected to be held at 45-50 pitches, with the bullpen to take it from there.

Kyle Ryan could be a bullpen option, but he threw 70 pitches on Monday in relief of Kyle Lobstein. With Sanchez out, Ryan will get a spot start in Monday's day-night doubleheader against the White Sox at Comerica Park. Randy Wolf will pitch the other game, with the order to be determined.

Buck Farmer, meanwhile, has resumed throwing after dealing with forearm tightness, but the right-hander is not expected to be available in time for the White Sox series.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.