Tigers Norris, Sanchez throw strong simulated games

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Cleveland — Daniel Norris and Anibal Sanchez could rejoin the Tigers rotation as early as next week.

“I would say Wednesday at the earliest,” manager Brad Ausmus said after both pitchers threw three, 15-pitch innings in an indoor simulated game Saturday. “Both guys looked good.”

They threw to hitters in the Indians indoor batting cage because of the wet conditions outdoors.

“I’m really happy about it,” said Norris, who’s been on the DL since Aug. 20 with an oblique strain. “It felt great. I was letting the ball go, getting swings and misses. I am ready. I feel really good.”

Sanchez, who has been on the DL since Aug. 19 with rotator cuff strain, also said he was all systems go after his three innings. 

The Tigers have set their rotation only through the doubleheader Sunday. Assuming the Tigers get the game in Saturday with Justin Verlander starting, Matt Boyd will pitch the first game and Randy Wolf the second game Sunday.

Most likely, Kyle Lobstein and Alfredo Simon will start the first two games in Minnesota.
Barring any unforeseen setback, Norris could start Wednesday. 

Then, with a day off Thursday, Ausmus could reconfigure the rotation to incorporate Sanchez for the home stand against the Royals, White Sox and Twins. 

In all likelihood, Boyd will be taken out of the rotation. He has pitched a career-high innings this season and Ausmus has talked about shutting him down soon. Either Lobstein or Wolf would presumably also be removed for Sanchez.

Anibal Sanchez  threw a three-inning simulation game Saturday in Cleveland.