Joe Saunders (Springfield/Virginia Tech) won 17 games with the Angels in 2008 and made the AL All-Star Team, and won 16 games the following season. But he has fallen on considerable hard times since. He has not posted an above-.500 record since. He has bounced around from Anaheim to Arizona, to Baltimore, to Seattle, to Texas, and finished the 2014 season back in Baltimore, where he pitched 6 games in relief and posted a horrendous ERA over 13.
During his 2013 run in Seattle, he started 32 games and posted an ERA of 5.26, but did manage to win 11 games, an accomplishment that Mariners brass took note of, as they have now signed him to a minor league contract for the 2015 season. The Mariners are expecting huge things in 2015 after falling one game short of the Wildcard in ’14, and their starting rotation for Opening Day is set, so Saunders will go in to camp with a chance to compete for the second lefty spot in the bullpen.
Today is September 1, a big day for all baseball teams and fans. Today is the day that rosters expand to 40. Some teams choose to do just that, other teams call up some, but not fill the 40-man to the max. Some teams call in reinforcements for the playoff push, other teams are out of the playoff picture and are starting to plan for next season.
In Arizona, the Diamondbacks are the latter. They have had a rough 2014 and are out of the postseason picture. But among their players being added to the roster for the final month: RHP Daniel Hudson (Virginia Beach). Yes, the same Daniel Hudson who was a budding star just a few years ago before his career got derailed by an injury that would require not one, but two Tommy John surgeries.
Hudson was a gem of a hurler from 2009-2012, posting a 3.68 ERA and 3004 strikeouts in 381 innings. But in early 2012, he got hurt, and his arm troubles snowballed from there. He has not pitched in the big leagues since, but has worked his way back. When he is added to the big league roster this week, it will be out of the bullpen, and FOX Sports Arizona is reporting that he will be on a 25-30 pitch count limit.
In Baltimore, Charm City, the Orioles enter the final month of the season having won four straight, and hold a comfortable nine game lead in the AL East division over the Yankees. But they will be calling in extra reinforcements for the home stretch, and one of those is LHP Joe Saunders (Springfield).
Saunders began the season with the Texas Rangers, but was released after going 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA. He signed a minor league deal with the Royals, but did not do much better there, and was cut. He then signed a minor league deal to return to Baltimore, where he finished the 2012 season. He reported to AAA Norfolk and flourished, posting a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings of relief work over 10 games. Not clear yet if he will start, relieve, or both.
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The Springfield native is producing big time for the Orioles AAA affiliate. He has a 1.69 ERA out of the Tides bullpen.
Rangers designate LHP Joe Saunders (0-5, 6.13 ERA) for assignment, recall RHP Miles Mikolas -via SportsCenter
Joe Saunders (Springfield) dropped by Rangers. End of his career?