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Ausmus catches Anibal's experimental session

Seeking bounce-back season, Tigers righty adjusting arm slot
March 13, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Ausmus wanted a good, close look at Anibal Sanchez's latest bullpen session. It was an important one. The Tigers right-hander is looking to bounce back from a subpar 2016 season, and he's trying to make an adjustment to his arm slot."It's not routine," said

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Ausmus wanted a good, close look at Anibal Sanchez's latest bullpen session. It was an important one. The Tigers right-hander is looking to bounce back from a subpar 2016 season, and he's trying to make an adjustment to his arm slot.
"It's not routine," said Ausmus, who caught the bullpen session. "It's hard to change arm slot, because it's so engrained in your muscle memory that it's not an easy thing to do."
"It has to be done repetitively in bullpens, and it sometimes it takes a while to translate to games, because when you get back in the game, the adrenaline is pumping, you naturally go back to what you're used to," said the Tigers' manager, who was a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and 1999 American League All-Star catcher over his 18 Major League seasons.
Ausmus indicated that Sanchez is attempting to move his arm slot "just a little bit away from his head," Detroit's skipper said.
No longer a regular at catching Major League pitchers, Ausmus made time for this one.
"I [still] do it a few times a year," said Ausmus, who added that he gets a better feel for the pitcher when he's catching him rather than observing from afar.
"I'm used to seeing it from that angle, so it's a little easier for me to judge," Ausmus said.
Sanchez is coming off a season in which he went 7-13 with a 5.87 ERA, his highest ERA in 11 Major League seasons.
Worth noting
Nicholas Castellanos, who missed two weekend games with a quad injury, started as the designated hitter Monday against Washington, but Ausmus remains cautious with Detroit's regular third baseman.
"I think he's fine," said Ausmus, who added that he wasn't sure of the nature of the treatment other than referring to it as "standard" treatment. "It never really was of grave concern. [Castellanos] felt it before he hit the double [against the Mets on Thursday] and he ran fine -- he busted his tail to get there. It's more a caution. He'll play today. He won't play [Tuesday]. And then I think he'll be full go the rest of the way."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.