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Anibal Sanchez to throw bullpen and start in extended spring

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Sanchez’s role on the team going forward is somewhat uncertain, but at the very least he appears to be on the road to recovery

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 season started off well enough for Anibal Sanchez as managed to snag a role in the Braves’ rotation and had pitched pretty well. Thus far, he had posted a 1.29 ERA in three appearances (two starts) and was striking out a batter per inning pitched.

Unfortunately for Anibal, that changed when he was running sprints before a game and collapsed to the ground in very obvious pain and grabbing his leg. The diagnosis was a hamstring injury and the Braves called up Mike Soroka to take his spot in the rotation. While Soroka’s own DL stint does complicate things, it appears as though he will stay in the major league rotation which means Sanchez’s role on the team is somewhat in flux.

For now, though, at the very least Sanchez is to the point where the Braves have to start thinking about how they are going to use him pretty soon.

The most likely option is that after he gets back up to speed, Anibal will join the Braves’ bullpen as a guy who can pitch longer stints if needed. Luiz Gohara has been filling that role ably so far, but there isn’t really such a thing as having too many decent arms in a bullpen. Things could get a little more interesting if Soroka’s DL stay is extended beyond one start or other members of the rotation falter, but for the moment it appears as though Sanchez’s future role on the 2018 Braves is as a reliever....once he is healthy, that is.