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Anibal Sanchez
Anibal Sanchez
Detroit Tigers - No.
Born: February 27, 1984 (1984-02-27) (age 40)
Maracay, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 25, 2006 for the Florida Marlins
Career information
High school: U. E. San Pedro Alesandrino
(Maracay, Venezuela)
MLB Draft: 2001 / Free agent
Career highlights and awards
MLB Profile at

Aníbal Alejandro Sánchez, Jr. [a-NEE-bal] (born February 27, 1984 in Maracay, Venezuela) is a starting pitcher.

Listed at 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, he bats and throws right-handed. On September 6, 2006, in his 13th career Major League start, he threw a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Baseball career[]

Minor leagues[]

Sánchez possesses a fastball clocked as high as the mid-90's, an above-average curve, a good changeup and a slider . He was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent in 2001. After playing in the Venezuelan Summer League for two seasons, Aníbal suffered an elbow injury that required surgery to move his elbow ligament, causing him to miss the entire 2003 season.

In the following year, he returned to the mound, this time making his debut on American soil with the short-season Single-A Lowell Spinners. In 15 starts, Aníbal posted a 3–4 record with a 1.77 ERA, and by the end of the year was widely considered one of Boston's top pitching prospects. After the 2004 season, Baseball America named Sánchez Boston's fifth-best prospect, behind shortstop Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Brandon Moss, and pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester.[1] By 2006, Ramirez, Papelbon, and Lester had all played in the majors; Moss was selected as the Portland Sea Dogs' most valuable player in 2006.[2]

2005 saw the young prospect starting the season off in Wilmington, Boston's High-A ball affiliate. After posting a 6–1 record with a 2.40 ERA, receiving a selection for the All-Star Futures Game, and making the Carolina League All-Star team, he was promoted to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Aníbal got off to a hot start there, but tired toward the end of the season, creating some concern about his durability. Still, Sánchez put up a 3.45 ERA over 11 starts in his first year in Double-A; at 21 years old, he was still one of the youngest players in his league.

Joining the Florida Marlins[]

At the end of the season, Boston traded Sánchez along with Hanley Ramirez, Jesús Delgado, and Harvey García to the Florida Marlins, in the same transaction that brought Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota, and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox. In addition to Beckett and Lowell, the Marlins traded several of their other star players after the 2005 season, including Carlos Delgado, Juan Pierre, Paul Lo Duca, and Luis Castillo, for mainly minor-league prospects. Baseball America ranked Sánchez third in the Marlins' system (after Jeremy Hermida and Ramirez) and 40th overall in the major leagues at the start of the 2006 season.[3][4]

The Marlins started six rookies in their Opening Day lineup in 2006,[5] but elected to have Sánchez return to Class AA to start the season with the Carolina Mudcats. Sánchez made his first 15 starts in 2006 with Mudcats, for whom he posted a 3–6 record with a 3.15 ERA. While with Carolina, he pitched two complete games, one of which was a seven-hit shutout.[6][7]

On June 25, he was called up to the majors to start the second half of a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium against the Yankees. Aníbal's major league debut was a strong one, as he allowed seven hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Yankees. He then turned the game over to his bullpen, which blanked the Yankees the rest of the way, shutting out the Yankees for the first time all year, 5–0. Sánchez became just the second visiting starter in the past decade to win his big-league debut at Yankee Stadium. (Fellow Venezuelan Gustavo Chacín of Toronto, who beat the Yankees in September 2004, is the other.) On July 14, the 22-year-old Sánchez started against and defeated Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, who made his MLB debut when Sánchez was just three months old.


On September 6, 2006, Sánchez threw a no-hitter for the Florida Marlins. In a 2–0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sánchez went nine innings at home to record the feat. He walked four batters and struck out six, throwing only 103 pitches. The Marlins, who used 21 rookies during the 2006 season, started six in Sánchez's no-hitter, setting the record for most rookies to play for the winning team in a no-hitter.[8]

Sánchez's no-hitter against Arizona ended the longest no-hitter drought in Major League Baseball history; there had been 6,364 consecutive major-league games without a no-hitter since Randy Johnson's perfect game on May 18, 2004. The previous record was a 4,015-game streak without a no-hitter, which lasted from September 30, 1984, to September 19, 1986. On the same night that Sánchez recorded a no-hitter, Johnson nearly pitched another one, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the New York Yankees against the Kansas City Royals.[9] Just two days earlier, Ramon Ortiz of the Washington Nationals nearly ended the no-hitter drought himself, taking one into the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.[10]

Sánchez became the 19th rookie pitcher since 1900 to pitch a no-hitter, and the first since Bud Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals no-hit the San Diego Padres on September 3, 2001.[9] His no-hitter was also the fourth no-hitter in Marlins history, after Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, and A. J. Burnett. Sánchez became the second Venezuelan pitcher to pitch a no-hitter in the major leagues, joining Wilson Alvarez, who pitched a no-hitter with the Chicago White Sox against the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991.[11]

On September 27, Sánchez earned his tenth win against the Cincinnati Reds, joining teammates Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, and Ricky Nolasco in the first set of four rookie teammates in MLB history to record ten or more wins in their rookie seasons. Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis had a record of 12–12, so with Sánchez's tenth win, the Marlins had their first set of five pitchers with ten or more wins in franchise history.[9] He finished his first season with the Marlins with a record of 10–3 and an ERA of 2.83 in 18 major-league games (17 starts).

Before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 30, the Marlins presented Sánchez with the pitching rubber and home plate used in his no-hitter. The Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners officially named September 30, 2006, Aníbal Sánchez Day.[12]


Sánchez suffered shoulder problems during spring training[13] but still started 2007 with the Marlins, going 2–1 with a 4.80 ERA in six starts. When reliever Jorge Julio returned to the team from the disabled list on May 4, the Marlins demoted Sánchez to Class AAA Albuquerque, citing his struggles with control.[14] On June 21, it was reported that his season was over after having Dr. James Andrews perform surgery to repair a tear in his labrum.[15]


On July 31, 2008 Anibal Sánchez pitched his first Major League game in almost 15 months against the Colorado Rockies. He had a solid outing and pitched 5⅔ innings while giving up just 2 runs on 6 hits and striking out 4. The Marlins went on to win that game 12–2, with Sánchez collecting his first win of the season.[16]

See also[]


  1. Top 10 Prospects: Boston Red Sox. Baseball America. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  2. Home. Eastern League. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  3. Majors: From The Archives: Anibal Sanchez. (2006-09-07). Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  4. 2006 Top 100 Prospects: 1–50. Baseball America (2006-02-23). Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  5. Marlins: Small on payroll, big on rookies. Usatoday.Com (2006-04-19). Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  6. Stats: Player. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  7. Carolina Mudcats: Home. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 MLB – Major League Baseball Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Rumors – ESPN. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  13. By Will Carroll, (2007-04-06). – MLB – Baseball Prospectus: Under The Knife – Friday April 6, 2007 1:22PM. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  14. [1]Template:Dead link
  15. By Joe Frisaro / (2007-06-22). Sanchez out for season | News. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.
  16. By Alden Gonzalez / Marlins smash Rox in Sanchez's return | News. Retrieved on 2009-04-11.

External links[]

Preceded by:
Randy Johnson
No-hitter pitcher
September 6, 2006
Succeeded by:
Mark Buehrle