DETROIT — Tigers manager Brad Ausmus reiterated that he has not ruled starter Anibal Sanchez out for the rest of the regular season.
Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with a right pectoralis major strain, played catch for the first time Sunday evening.
"It was a light catch," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. "He threw 30 balls at 45 feet, no issues, felt fine. He’ll come back and repeat tomorrow. Actually he’s gonna extend out probably to 60 feet (Monday) with about 45 throws. Baby steps, baby steps."
Sanchez, who said he felt good before heading out to play catch, was 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 21 starts before getting injured in Toronto.
"We’re just going to progress him as tolerated and just take it how it goes," Rand said. "It’s too early to tell how he’s gonna progress at this point in time."
SORIA ‘GETTING CLOSE’
Reliever Joakim Soria, who suffered a left oblique strain that same series in Toronto, has made significant progress.
Soria threw off the mound Friday without any pain and will throw a simulated game Monday.
"He’s at a stage right now, he’s throwing a live BP (Monday) and if everything goes well, then we’ll reevaluate him at that time," Rand said. "But he’s getting close."
Ausmus said he wouldn’t immediately throw Soria into a game after Monday’s session, even if it goes well.
"He would need a day after throwing," Ausmus said. "Definitely not Tuesday but it’s possible after one simulated he may be able to pitch in a game. We’ll make a decision after he throws and bounces back, we’ll talk to him. It may be a case where he wants to throw one more session. We’ll wait and see. Conceivably after this simulated, if all goes well, he could be ready in a couple of days."
CABRERA LOOKING BETTER
Since the calendar turned to September, Miguel Cabrera has looked more like himself.
Cabrera is batting .500 with six runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and six RBI in seven games this month, despite a lingering ankle injury.
"He said he felt a little better (Sunday)," Ausmus said. "When Miggy swings the bat it takes a lot of pressure off other guys in the lineup and he’s looked good the past week. I hope his foot continues to feel better but we’re still going to have to monitor it. We don’t want it to become a nuisance again."
KELLY IN LINEUP
Don Kelly was in Sunday night’s starting lineup, playing in center field and batting sixth.
"It’s more about bringing up the rising lefties with (San Francisco’s Tim) Hudson pitching," Ausmus said. "I thought about putting Nick (Castellanos) sixth and Donnie seventh but then you got left, left, switch, which has (three) left all in a row."
It’s Kelly’s fourth start in center field this season and 32nd overall. He’s also started at first base, third base, left field and right field.
PUTKONEN ON TRACK FOR 2015
Luke Putkonen, who has been on the DL since April 19 with right elbow inflammation, had his injury rehabilitation assignment recalled from West Michigan as soon as the Whitecaps were eliminated in the playoffs.
"Luke finished up at West Michigan, threw two innings the other night in their loss in their first playoff game," Rand said. "We got him back to where he’s pitching. He’s not to the level that we’d like to see for him to be ready for here. Probably that’ll be it. But at least we’re going forward knowing that he’s OK. It’s just a matter of time. With a normal offseason, offseason conditioning program, he should be ready to compete in spring training."
IGLESIAS TO SEE SPECIALIST IN COLORADO
Shortstop Jose Iglesias will visit Dr. Thomas Clanton in Colorado Tuesday for an evaluation.
Iglesias has missed the entire season with stress fractures in both shins.