KISSIMMEE, Fla. — It wasn’t the best way for Anibal Sanchez to close out his spring but he wasn’t too concerned.
Against the Houston Astros at Kissimmee, Sanchez allowed nine runs on 11 hits while walking one and striking out three. He gave up two home runs to Jonathan Singleton and one to Jason Castro.
“(Thursday), that’s the problem, I leave a couple pitches up, one I want to throw for my fastball, they hit it, they hit a lot of ground balls,” Sanchez said. “That happens in spring training. You don’t have game plan, just more work on your pitches. Let’s see next week, we go to the mound with game plan.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Sanchez just had a bad day.
“He made some pitches that weren’t too bad that they hit and other bad pitches that they hit,” Leyland said. “He just didn’t have a very good day and I think you probably leave it at that.”
One of the things Leyland wanted to do before breaking camp was make sure all of his starters were up to 100 pitches. Sanchez said he reached 101 Thursday.
“More than that is get ready for be in the game for a while,” Sanchez said. “It’s not like for 80 pitches or something like that. I’m going to have everything for my first start, that’s what I’m looking for, that’s what the pitching coach work with me.”
Except for Justin Verlander starting Opening Day in Minnesota April 1, Leyland has not outlined the order of his rotation.
Worth heads back to Toledo
Infielder Danny Worth was quiet as he packed up his belongings and headed for the door.
Leyland had just told him that they optioned his contract to Triple-A Toledo, meaning veteran Ramon Santiago was taking the final roster spot.
“I’ll just go play, see what happens,” Worth said. “Can’t really think too much about it.”
The reality is that the Tigers couldn’t find any takers for Santiago’s remaining year at $2.1 million and Worth had an option left.
So while the decision was logical, it was anything but easy.
“We had 27 guys this year that we tried to fit on a 25-man squad and we just couldn’t do it,” Leyland said. “With Q (Quintin Berry) and Danny Worth, we had two guys that probably deserved to be on the team but at this particular time, it didn’t work out.”
Worth, 27, batted .333 with six doubles and six RBIs in 26 games this spring.
“He’s played great,” Leyland said. “He’s hitting better than I’ve ever seen him, he’s playing better than I’ve seen him. He looks like a big leaguer and he is a big leaguer. But that’s not much consolation for him today.”
Santiago, 33, batted .286 with a triple, a home run and eight RBIs in 14 games. He was limited earlier in the spring with a calf injury.
Worth knows the deal, having made more than a few trips from Toledo to Detroit and back last summer. It could work that way again.
“You don’t wish injuries on your team, obviously, but I would say that there’s a good chance you’ll see Quintin Berry and Danny Worth in Detroit this summer at some point,” Leyland said.