As a left-handed starting pitcher with a veteran know-how that holds a certain amount of appeal with teams, Joe Saunders likely has not seen his last major league action.
Between injuries, trades, and demotions, some team will need a stopgap solution and will consider Saunders as the answer, whether this season or next. For now, however, Saunders will be without a team as the Texas Rangers designated him for assignment on Tuesday.
Saunders had struggled mightily while trying to fill a spot in the rotation for a Rangers team that has been overwhelmed with injuries. Even as far as temporary answers go, the Rangers could no longer afford to run him out there every fifth day and DFA’ed him. As reported by Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram.
Joe Saunders is DFA’d. Miles Mikolas recalled and will start Wednesday. Rest of rotation, in order, Darvish, Tepesh, Lewis, Martinez.
— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) July 1, 2014
Through eight starts this season, Saunders posted some especially unfortunate numbers: 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA. There is not much to suggest that anything went well for Saunders, as he also was only striking out five hitters per nine innings and posted a 6.20 fielding independent pitching (FIP). In short, everything was bad for Saunders and so the Rangers turned to their internal options to fill that spot.
Saunders has pitched for four franchises in his career, spending the most time with the Los Angeles Angels. He was a stingy pitcher as recently as 2012 but has fallen off recently. But as a left-handed starter, he will get a lot of next chances in all likelihood.