In a corresponding move, Buck Farmer was sent to Toledo following his Sunday start, during which he allowed seven earned runs on three home runs, including a grand slam, over 2 1/3 innings.
The move ends Sanchez's month-long assignment with the Mud Hens, a move that required his approval due to his amount of time in the Majors. He accepted the assignment under certain conditions that were negotiated. The fact that Sanchez traveled with the team before accepting a move made it clear it wasn't a simple agreement.
The conditions were never fully explained, but it was clear that Sanchez's time in Toledo wasn't going to last forever. Once he was stretched out as a starter, the Tigers would have to make a move. The fact that Detroit had held this long onto Sanchez, due $16.8 million this season as part of the five-year, $80 million deal he signed after the 2012 campaign, suggested that move wasn't going to be a release.
"He accepted that assignment to go pitch in Toledo so he could take another shot at starting," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "So we're going to see."
Sanchez posted an 0-2 record with a 4.60 ERA for Toledo. His best outing for the Mud Hens was his last, delivering five innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts against Gwinnett. He had mixed results in his other outings, but struck out 20 batters over his 15 2/3 innings, showing at least flashes of the deceptiveness he lacked during his six weeks as a long reliever in Detroit.
"He'd been throwing the ball well, good changeup," Ausmus said. "Velocity's been up to 93 [mph]. He had the hamstring injury two starts ago, but that's behind him now."
Sanchez's addition will push back the rest of the Tigers starters a day. Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander and Daniel Norris will each get an extra day's rest before facing the Mariners, while Michael Fulmer will pitch Friday's series opener at San Diego, also on five days' rest.
From there, Ausmus said, "We're going to figure it out as we go."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.