WASHINGTON -- As Anibal Sanchez carefully limped around the visitors' clubhouse following Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Nationals, he expressed hope about the possibility of being ready to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.
But he will certainly need to make a quick recovery to prevent the Braves from having to creatively fill a void within a starting rotation that is not nearly as deep as it was just a couple of days ago.
Sanchez exited Thursday's game at Nationals Park after being struck on the left calf by Michael A. Taylor's comebacker at the end of the second inning. All indications are he simply suffered a bruise. But the discomfort he displayed after the game certainly created reason to doubt his optimistic hope to be ready to make his next start.
"I would love to make the next start," Sanchez said. "I'm going to work with the trainers. I think right now and the next day is probably going to be the worst part. But after that, we'll see how I feel. Because it's the front leg, I'll probably be able to pitch in five or six days."
Sanchez's exit came just two days after Max Fried was limited to just two innings because of the left groin strain he suffered while reacting to the Spencer Kieboom liner that struck his lower back in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Nationals. Fried was relieved by Kolby Allard, who spent the next two innings creating further doubt about his readiness for the Major League level.
Though Touki Toussaint and Allard appear to be the only logical internal options to start one of the games in Monday's doubleheader against the Marlins, Braves manager Snitker said the club has not decided what to do.
If Sanchez is not ready by Tuesday, both Toussaint and Allard might end up making a start during that series against the Marlins.
"We're hoping [Sanchez] can make his next start," Snitker said. "Until we get him home and can look at him tomorrow, we won't know any more. But the optimistic view is it's a bruise and hopefully they can treat him up and not miss a start."