"The one point -- the DH -- that's a huge factor," Leyland said. "But I also look at the other point. A lot of teams haven't seen these guys. So that should be [the pitcher's] advantage."
That perceived advantage hasn't manifested itself in Sanchez's performance, at least not yet. While his results against designated hitters don't entirely explain his struggles, he hasn't fared well. The four he has faced since joining the Tigers -- Justin Morneau (Twins), Eric Chavez (Yankees), Jose Lopez (Indians), and Colby Rasmus (Blue Jays) -- have gone a combined 4-for-10 with 4 RBIs against him.
Meanwhile, Sanchez made easy work of opposing hurlers in the NL. Pitchers hit .103 against him with only three hits in 29 at-bats when he was with the Marlins this season.
Sanchez has also struggled to go deep into games for Detroit, with none of his outings spanning more than six innings.
"I know the American League has the DH," Sanchez said. "... But no matter who's there, I have to make some pitches. I have to figure out how to keep in control and go deep into games."
As far as Leyland is concerned, keeping the ball down would be a good start. Too many of Sanchez's pitches have caught the higher portions of the strike zone, evidenced by the five home runs he's allowed in 20 1/3 innings with the Tigers.
"I didn't know Sanchez before we got him," Leyland said. "You have to wait and look. So far, he hasn't really gotten the ball down. I certainly know that he's a better pitcher than what he's shown so far. We just have to keep looking and see what happens."