LAKELAND, Fla. -- The shoulder issues that have bothered Anibal Sanchez off and on during his career flared up again Monday, albeit on what is believed to be a minor basis. The Tigers right-handed starter and reigning American League ERA champion was scratched from his scheduled start with right posterior shoulder inflammation.
Sanchez was scratched about 35 minutes before game time on a rainy Monday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium. What was initially thought to be a weather-related decision turned out to be injury-related.
"Basically Anibal came in this morning, had some posterior shoulder inflammation, some soreness," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said, "so we opted to skip his start, start treating him for that and getting him ready for his next start."
If the rotation stays on its current schedule, Sanchez's next scheduled start would come Saturday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.
Sanchez missed time last year with a right shoulder strain. He missed over two weeks from June 16 to July 5, then pitched without issues for the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
Sanchez suffered a right labrum tear in 2007 that cost him a full season of action. He also missed three months in 2009 with a right shoulder sprain.
In this case, however, the impression seems to be more routine.
"It's very common for pitchers in Spring Training to go through a little bit of inflammation," Rand said. "And so, when he came in with it today, it was smarter to skip his start and get him ready for the next one."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.