Stricken with the bane of pitchers' existence -- a blister on his finger -- the Detroit Tigers' Anibal Sanchez was taken out of Saturday's game against the Minnesota Twins after just 2⅔ innings of no-hit baseball. He was replaced with newly promoted Jose Ortega.
It appears to have almost immediately become problematic enough for him to exit the game. After running through most of the Twins' line-up with relative ease -- he had been essentially unblemished to that point, save a second-inning walk issued to Josmil Pinto -- Sanchez called for catcher Bryan Holaday during an at-bat against Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier. From there, they were joined by the team's trainer Kevin Rand, pitching coach Jeff Jones and first year manager Brad Ausmus, who immediately pulled his pitcher from the game.
Many of the injuries that take MLB players out of commission are fairly minor relative to the ones most other professional athletes routinely play through. But the struggle of having to pitch with a blister is one that anyone can relate to if they've ever had to, say, swing a hammer with one.
While it will likely not lead to serious time missed, it's not unprecedented for pitchers -- most notably, Josh Beckett -- to miss serious time because of recurring blister issues.
Roark shuts out San Diego
Washington Nationals pitchers Tanner Roark may have punched his ticket to the starting rotation with a masterful performance against the San Diego Padres this Saturday. He pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.
This dominant performance may help the team decide what to do with an overcrowded starting staff when pitcher Doug Fister returns from the DL. Although the competition between Roark and the struggling Taylor Jordan had never really been serious -- Jordan, drafted in the ninth round of the 2009 draft, has struggled mightily in his transition to the major leagues this season -- this seemingly put an end to any speculation regarding the two.
Drafted in the 25th round of the 2008 draft by the Texas Rangers, Roark first made a splash at the major league level last season by steamrolling through 14 games (five starts) with an ERA of 1.51 and a sub-1.00 WHIP. Regression to the mean aside, Roark has obviously greatly exceeded expectations since being traded for Cristian Guzman in 2010 and rebounded nicely after a slightly shaky start to the season. The win also put the Nationals on their second four-game winning streak this month.
Now, if they could just get that Harper kid to run out ground balls.
"Crush" Davis headed for DL
Davis earlier on Saturday seemed sure he would not have to miss any serious time recovering, telling reporters, "I feel better today. Still a little sore; I think a lot of it has to do with the poking and prodding. As sore as I was (Friday), I don't think it was a DL thing."
While it's uncertain when the injury occurred, it seems unlikely that it has anything to do with his all-around regression at the plate this season. Davis, who lead the league in home runs last year, has dropped a full 250-plus points off his slugging percentage so far in 2013. Although a regression was likely, such a precipitous drop is something -- along with the possibility of recurring oblique issues throughout the season -- that the O's will want to look into as they prepare to decide on whether or not to bring the slugger to arbitration this offseason.