Alvarez optioned to make room for Sanchez

Much like Avisail Garcia’s option to Triple-A Toledo a night earlier, Jose Alvarez’s return to the Mud Hens wasn’t much of a surprise. The Tigers waited to make a move just in case Sanchez had a setback, but they made the move Friday night.

Sanchez will be officially activated on Saturday, the first day he’s eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list, and start in the 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Indians.

Alvarez tossed six innings of one-run ball against Cleveland in his Major League debut June 9 in a spot start for Sanchez, then returned for three more starts while Sanchez rehabbed his right shoulder strain. The 24-year-old left-hander lost his last two starts, allowing eight earned runs on 13 hits over 8 2/3 innings combined.

The move means Alvarez can’t rejoin the Tigers before the All-Star break unless he replaces a player who’s placed on the disabled list. Thus, if Rick Porcello loses his appeal early next week and has to begin his six-game suspension before his next scheduled start Wednesday, Alvarez can’t return to take his place.

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