Another bullpen session is on tap for Anibal

Another bullpen session is on tap for Anibal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers will spend Thursday, their final scheduled off-day of the regular season, trying to relax in Kansas City ahead of their three-game showdown with the Royals. Anibal Sanchez will spend his day on the bullpen mound at Kauffman Stadium.

He's had enough days off for his liking. He wants to get back to work.

"There's nothing to do anyway," Sanchez said.

While the Tigers and Royals rest, Sanchez will head to the ballpark with a catcher and a coach and throw his third bullpen session of the week, though this one is expected to be longer than the 25-pitch sessions he had on Monday and Tuesday at Target Field.

If Thursday's session goes well, Sanchez is expected to throw a simulated game on Sunday morning. Whether he's ready for game action after that will depend largely on how he feels.

The timetable essentially guarantees that Sanchez will not have multiple starts in which to stretch out before the regular season ends. His return from the 15-day disabled list, where he has resided since early August with a strained left pectoral muscle, will surely be a one-start shot.

At that point the Tigers would have to decide whether to put Sanchez in the four-man postseason rotation or have him pitch out of the bullpen, a possibility manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged on Monday.

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