Lakeland, Fla. — Tigers No. 3 starter Anibal Sanchez had elbow surgery in 2003 and shoulder surgery in 2007 — hardly uncommon setbacks for pitchers.
But a strained pectoral muscle? How does that happen, and more to the point as he gets ready for the 2015 season, what do you do to prevent that from happening again?
"I was doing workouts really good the last six or seven years, I don't know how," said Sanchez, who only made 21 starts for the Tigers last season after injuring his pectoral in early August. "I mean, the injury I have is something I cannot control. It's not my shoulder, elbow — not normal for anybody at this level."
Sanchez, who was scheduled to throw his first bullpen of the spring Friday, altered his workout regimen this offseason. More running, less lifting.
"The most thing I change is the heavy weight workout," he said. "I give it a little rest on my muscles."
Sanchez has always been a runner, but he took it up a notch this year. He has built his distance up to seven miles and he said he's run seven miles at least 10 times.
"I feel good," he said. "I am just trying to do the same workout to be ready every five days, learning how to save my energy for every five days. In 2013, I threw a lot of pitches per outing and I felt really good.
"I want to be in that situation again, where I can help the team win. I am just trying to save all my bullets for the game."
With innings-eaters Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello gone, the Tigers need Sanchez to regain his form from 2013. He went 14-8 with a league-best 2.57 ERA. More importantly he pitched 182 innings in 29 starts.
"I don't think it changes my mindset or anybody's mindset," Sanchez said regarding the departure of Scherzer and Porcello. "With (Justin) Verlander, (David) Price and me, and we add two pretty good pitchers (Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene), I think we are going to be pretty good."
Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky