Sanchez has been on the DL since June 18 after suffering a strained right shoulder. He missed a start earlier in June due to the ailment, then tried to pitch on June 15. He made it just 3.2 innings against the Twins before being pulled from the game.
By making the move to activate Sanchez now, the team will have him in the rotation for two turns before the All-Star break. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Sanchez will not throw a lot of pitches on Saturday. Instead, Detroit wants to use the next two starts to position Sanchez for a strong second half.
Sanchez, 29, has been an excellent acquisition for the Tigers. He has a 2.76 ERA over 13 starts this season after signing a five-year contract worth $80 million with Detroit in the offseason.
To make room on the roster for Sanchez, Detroit optioned Jose Alvarez back to Triple-A.