Minneapolis, MN (WKZO) – With all the talk of Justin Verlander’s new gargantuan contract, it is forgotten that Anibal Sanchez signed a new lucrative deal this past off-season as well. Wednesday will be his first chance to prove that he is worth it.
After being acquired by the Tigers in a midseason trade from Miami last season, Anibal Sanchez struggled early in a Detroit uniform. In his first four starts, Sanchez went 1-3 with an ERA of 7.97. Not exactly what the Tigers were hoping for when they gave up their top pitching prospect among others to land the 29 year old righty. But after the adjustment period to the American League was over, Sanchez closed out the season with an ERA of 2.19 in his final eight regular season starts and was even more impressive in three postseason starts.
With success came reward. Sanchez was one of the most sought after free agents this off-season and after all was said and done he was rewarded handsomely with a new five year, $80 million contract, making him the fourth highest paid player on the Tigers, only trailing Verlander, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera in average annual salary.
While Sanchez was hit hard this spring, he was still able to earn the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Verlander, mostly based on how clutch he was down the stretch for the Tigers in 2012.
Sanchez will square off against another pitcher on Wednesday who is looking to make a successful transition from the National League to the American League. Kevin Correia will make the start for the Twins after spending 10 seasons in the National League with San Francisco, San Diego and the last two seasons with Pittsburgh. Correia went 12-11 each year with the Pirates, with a 4.79 ERA in 2011 and 4.21 in 2012. Correia went 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two interleague starts against Detroit last year.
First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. on WKZO 590AM