Dear Anibal Sanchez,
Just four seasons ago, in 2013, you were one of the best pitchers in baseball as you went 14-8 and led the American League with a 2.57 ERA. During that campaign, you struck out 202 batters in 182 innings and you finished fourth in the Cy Young vote.
Unfortunately, for all parties involved, it has been downhill ever since with things hitting rock bottom on May 22nd of this season when you were sent to Toledo after posting a 9.00 ERA in 11 appearances with the Tigers. Some fans rejoiced you were finally off the Tigers roster, while others were sincerely bummed out that your stellar Spring Training did not carry over to the regular season.
What many casual fans do not realize is that you did not have to accept the assignment to Toledo but you chose to go to the minors because you wanted to be a starting pitcher with the Tigers once again. While with the Mud Hens, you worked diligently to figure things out. In 15.2 innings of work, you did just that as you struck out 20 batters while walking only five.
Now your hard work has paid off, you are back where you belong, and you are making the best of it. Not to mention, you have made your doubters look ridiculous.
Since returning to the Tigers, you have only given up six earned runs in 17.1 innings of work. Your command is back (14 strikeouts and 4 walks) and your confidence has been beaming.
On Saturday, following your impressive performance against the Indians in a must-win game, you were given a standing ovation by the fans at Comerica Park. The ovation was well-deserved and it showed Detroit’s support for you.
Now, Anibal, keep those performances coming and listen to those ovations get louder and louder as the season goes on.