Shoulder exam to weigh heavily on Sanchez’s future

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Minneapolis — At first blush, it sounds bad.

Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez will have his shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. If the rotator cuff in his right shoulder is torn, Sanchez could be out, not only the rest of this season, but for a large portion of 2016, as well.

But Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones and manager Brad Ausmus don’t think the situation is that dire.

“I’m always optimistic, but I think it was just a re-irritation of what he had,” Jones said. “It’s in the same area. We are hoping that’s the case, because based on him throwing the simulated game (Saturday) and throwing again yesterday, it didn’t look like a tear.

“Usually when a guy tears something, you usually get a better indication. He was throwing it pretty well. Then he threw one and it was like, ‘That one hurt.’ ”

Aumsus agreed.

“I don’t think it’s overly concerning at this point,” he said. “I think he just re-aggravated the injury he had. He’s seeing the specialist because we want to cover all of our bases and be sure.”

Sanchez went on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain on Aug. 19. He had worked his way back and was scheduled to start and throw 45 to 50 pitches on Wednesday. But the shoulder flared up again at the end of his bullpen session Monday.

“It’s the same soreness,” Sanchez said Monday night. “I thought it was something that would go away. I was going to throw 35 pitches (in the bullpen session), but just before I finish, maybe the last three pitches before the end, I feel bad and I stop right away.”

It’s a disappointing end to a frustrating season for Sanchez. He allowed a career-high 29 home runs and his ERA was 4.99. He wanted badly to get back and end the season on a positive note.

“I want to pitch,” he said. “I always want to pitch. I always want to be there. I want to do my job and help my team. But we have to see what the doctors say. I don’t know. It’s really hard, just two weeks left.”

Daniel Norris, who has been on the DL with an oblique strain since Aug. 20, will get the start on Wednesday. He will be limited to 45 to 50 pitches.

Ausmus said Kyle Ryan, who threw 70 pitches out of the bullpen Monday, will get a start in one of the two games against the White Sox on Monday. He and Randy Wolf will pitch the doubleheader.

Norris, barring any setback, will start on Tuesday.