Sanchez struggles in first appearance

Sanchez struggles in first appearance

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While Jordan Zimmermann took a big step toward putting last season's struggles behind him with his outing in the Tigers' 10-7 win over the Braves on Monday afternoon, Anibal Sanchez has more work to do.

The good news for Sanchez after his three-run inning was that he said he felt healthy, a key for him after dealing with rotator cuff issues in the past. The bad news was the results of what he threw.

"Yeah, totally," Sanchez said. "I think I've been working pretty hard this offseason. To do this in the first outing, it's not something I wanted to do."

The Braves put up three runs, four singles and a walk against Sanchez before he retired the next three batters. Sanchez didn't give up extra bases, but the swings from Braves hitters noted they weren't getting fooled, either.

A scout in attendance had Sanchez's fastball ranging from 87-92 mph. Manager Brad Ausmus said they had it in the 90-mph range. Sanchez's changeup and slider, according to the scout, sat in the mid-80s with light movement.

That's not unusual for a pitcher's first outing of the spring. For a pitcher trying to compete for a spot, however, it was a tough start to the push.

"He left some balls up," Ausmus said. "Obviously not the results he wants. It was just one outing. We'll see how he progresses."

Worth noting

• For the second consecutive game, the Tigers had a juggling catch in the outfield. One day after Alex Presley recovered for a play in right field against the Mets, shortstop Jose Iglesias tipped a fly ball to Justin Upton in left while trying for a shovel catch.

J.D. Martinez (pectoral muscle soreness) and Nicholas Castellanos (flu) returned to the Tigers' lineup on Monday. Martinez went 0-for-3, while Castellanos had a walk and a run scored.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. 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.