DETROIT -- The plan when Anibal Sanchez went on the 15-day disabled list last week was for him to miss two starts before returning. How he fares in a bullpen session Thursday morning at Comerica Park should let the Tigers know whether he can still do that.
Jose Alvarez made his latest start in Sanchez's place Wednesday night against the Angels. The Tigers don't have an off-day until the All-Star break, so Sanchez's spot in the rotation comes up Monday in Toronto. Either Sanchez will make the start, or Alvarez will fill in again while Sanchez works towards a Minor League rehab start.
Until Sanchez throws on the side, the Tigers don't know which way they'll go.
"We don't know about that yet," manager Jim Leyland said.
By all accounts, Sanchez has felt fine in his rehab back from the right shoulder strain that landed him on the DL. However, the Tigers aren't going to risk aggravating it and missing him for a lengthy stretch.
Already in elite company, Miggy's pace torrid
DETROIT -- Opposing managers and players have talked in awe all season about watching Miguel Cabrera hit the ball. Now the numbers are backing up their beliefs.
After his two-run home run in the first inning Tuesday against the Angels, Cabrera became only the sixth player since 1920 with at least 1,200 RBIs and 300 homers in his first 11 seasons, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
He joins the rare list that includes Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Jeff Bagwell and Albert Pujols.
"He's hitting in one of worst hitter's ballparks I've ever seen," Indians manager Terry Francona said earlier this season. "To be a power hitter here, and put up the numbers he's hitting -- jog out to right-center, it's a haul. And he doesn't get any light hits. So what he's doing is unbelievable."
Entering Wednesday's game, Cabrera led the American League with a .368 batting average and 77 RBIs, but was tied in third with 21 home runs in his quest to become the first player in baseball history to win back-to-back Triple Crowns. He hit a solo homer in the first inning Wednesday off Billy Buckner.
At 78 RBIs after the homer, Cabrera has the most by a player at the end of June since Josh Hamilton had 80 in 2008, according to STATS. If Cabrera can reach 80 RBIs in the next five games, he'll be the 22nd player to reach that plateau since 1920 and the first Tigers player to do it since Hank Greenberg (91) in 1935, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
"I probably throw the best changeup I've ever thrown in my life to a guy that's just on a whole another playing field," Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester said earlier this week after giving up a home run to Cabrera. "I wish he'd quit and go to a different league -- make a league especially for him."
Cabrera has been averaging more than one RBI per game this year, and is on pace for 97 by the All-Star break, which would be tied for the fourth-highest total in MLB history.
Miggy, C.J. put slugger's stare behind them
DETROIT -- The stare Miguel Cabrera had for C.J. Wilson on his way back to the dugout following a fifth-inning strikeout Tuesday night appeared to be forgotten by Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson said Tuesday after the Angels' 14-8 win that he had an emotional reaction after he spotted a called third strike on Cabrera with two men on and one out. Essentially, he said, "Woo!"
"I was extremely excited that that pitch was called a strike … I'm out there just trying to win," Wilson said. "If a guy hits a homer and stands there, he's entitled to do that, because you made a bad pitch. I'm not saying he did that; I'm just saying if I strike a guy out, on a pitch that I really need in that situation like that -- I mean, he's the MVP last year, he's having a great year, he's hitting like .370 [.368]. Any time you can get him out, you're happy, especially in that situation."
Cabrera apparently heard the reaction, because he quickly turned and looked back at Wilson.
"I wasn't even worried about it," Wilson said. "I threw the pitch, I saw him looking around and I was like, 'All right, well, I have to try to get Prince Fielder out right now.'"
Fielder doubled in a run before Victor Martinez hit a two-run single.
Cabrera -- who homered off Wilson in the third inning on Tuesday -- suggested Wednesday it was no big deal.
"Nah," he said, shaking his head.
Four Tigers prospects recognized as All-Stars
DETROIT -- The All-Star Futures Games participants aren't the only Minor Leaguers receiving recognition, as the Tigers had four prospects selected for the 2013 Eastern League All-Star Game.
Catcher James McCann, second baseman Herman Perez, right-hander Warwick Saupold and lefty Will Startup were chosen from Double-A Erie for the game on July 10 at New Britain Stadium.
McCann was the Tigers' top selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He's hitting .306 with two home runs and 32 RBIs, and is ranked as the top catcher and the team's No. 11 prospect in the Tigers' farm system by MLB.com.
The Tigers signed Perez as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, and he's ranked as the team's No. 12 prospect. He has an Eastern League-high 24 doubles this season and is second in the league with 93 hits and 19 stolen bases. Perez played in two games with the Tigers last summer.
Saupold will not participate in the All-Star Game after being placed on the seven-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. Before he was sidelined, he went 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts.
The Tigers signed Startup this offseason after he was released by the Orioles. He's made 16 appearances out of Erie's bullpen, holding opposing hitters to a .195 batting average with a 2.10 ERA.
• Alex Avila notched his first hit on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday with a single on a line drive to left field in the fifth inning. He's now 1-for-12 with a walk in three games. It was also his first game back at catcher, playing the first two games as a designated hitter.
• Phil Coke, Andy Dirks, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Don Kelly and Matt Tuiasosopo were up early after Tuesday's four-hour loss, taking part in free clinics for 180 children from Michigan-area Boys & Girls Clubs on Wednesday morning at Wayne State University. Hands-on instruction included baserunning, pitching, hitting, throwing and fielding. The event was part of the MLB Players Trust's City Clinics program to promote the game to kids across the country.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.