With Detroit Tigers' Depleted Lineup, Can Anyone in AL Central Take Advantage?

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIJune 17, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08:  Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals in the second inning during a game at Nationals Park on May 8, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers got a bit of bad news today when they had to put Anibal Sanchez and Alex Avila on the disabled list.

The #Tigers placed Anibal Sanchez on the DL retro to 6/16 w/ right shoulder strain. Alex Avila also placed on DL w/ left forearm contusion.

— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 17, 2013

There are two questions that come to mind with these moves—how will it affect the Tigers and can anyone in the AL Central take advantage?

Let's look into a little further.


What the Tigers are Losing

In Avila, the Tigers lose a .172 batting average, five home runs and 13 RBI. He's gone 5-for-30 in his last 10 games and has only driven in two runs this month.

In Sanchez, the Tigers lose a pitcher who will get All-Star consideration. He's 6-5 with a 2.76 ERA, 101 strikeouts and a 1.151 WHIP.

More importantly for Sanchez, the Tigers are losing the third part of a three-headed monster on the mound.

It's not something teams look forward to in a series.

The Tigers have upcoming series with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

Sanchez's spot in the rotation would have come up against all except for the Rays.


The Other Teams

The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals are the only teams that could make some headway while those two players are on the DL.

The Indians have the Royals, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox over the next four series. The Royals face the Indians, White Sox, Atlanta Braves and Twins over the next four series.

Could they theoretically gain two or three games on the Tigers during that time frame? Absolutely.

But will there be much of a difference made?



The loss of Sanchez will hurt, but the Tigers still have a capable starter in Jose Alvarez to take his spot. Even without him, the other four starters in the rotation are very good.

So pitching won't be the problem.

And did you see what Avila was doing at the plate this year? Do you think that will really affect the offense?

Avila on the DL means nothing to the Tigers because having guys like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Torii Hunter (among others) carry the team on offense.

If the loss of a .172 hitter who is only throwing out 21 percent of base-stealers hurts the Tigers, then there are some issues.

As of right now, I don't see that affecting the team at all.

At best, the Indians and Royals will gain a game to a game-and-a-half on the Tigers while both players are on the DL.