"That would have been without [throwing] a bullpen," Ausmus said. "It just wouldn't have been the right move, to have a guy not pitch for 10 days, no bullpen, then throw him back in the fire and say, 'Go ahead.'"
And the 10-day return represented a best-case scenario. There was no guarantee that he'd be back by then, so the Tigers opted to stock up their bullpen instead. Reliever Justin Miller, who had been optioned to Triple-A Toledo on Saturday morning, was recalled to take Sanchez's place on the roster.
For the time being, the Tigers will go with an eight-man bullpen, but likely will have to call up a starter from Toledo at least for the May 6 game. That depends on the speed of Sanchez's recovery.
"We won't know that for a little while," Ausmus said. "We've got to see how it heals up. In a few days, he may cover that finger and throw just to keep the shoulder muscles loose, but in terms of being able to really snap the ball, we won't know until the skin grows over and it starts to harden up again."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.