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Saunders finally gets another shot

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “I was excited when I came up in August and now I get another shot at it,” the 24-year-old Saunders said. Saunders got his August call-up when Paul Byrd had back spasms. This time Saunders will take the place of Jarrod Washburn, who has tendinitis in his left pitching forearm. Angels manager Mike Scioscia chose Saunders over Kelvim Escobar, who will remain in the bullpen. “Of all the options we were looking at this gives us the best overall depth,” Scioscia said. Entering Tuesday’s game, Escobar had pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. And with the back end of the Angels bullpen performing inconsistently over the past two months, Escobar was considered more valuable in the bullpen. “He wants to be in any role that can help the club,” Scioscia said about Escobar. “I know his preference is to be a starter. That’s why we signed him and we want him to start, but right now the cards the way we’ve been dealt them there’s a bigger-impact role for him to help us in our bullpen.” Saunders last pitched for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sept. 1 against Colorado Springs (5 1/3 innings, 2 earned runs, no decision), but Scioscia said the left-hander has been on maintenance programs and shouldn’t show much effect from his two-week layoff. Saunders said he was comfortable with the high-pressure assignment late in the season. “The nerves are always going to be there — it’s only my second start,” said Saunders, who had a combined record of 11-7 at Salt Lake and Double-A Arkansas this season. “The first time I came up we were up by two or three games so it’s basically the same focus. You just go out there and try to give the team a chance to win.” – The Angels entered Tuesday’s game with a major league best 142 steals as a team. Last season, the Angels led the American League with 143 stolen bases. … The Angels and Mariners have identical .986 team fielding percentages. This mark leads the American League. … Jamie Moyer, 42, today’s starter for Seattle, made his major league debut (June 16, 1986) five years to the day after Saunders was born (June 16, 1981). — Keven Chavez can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SEATTLE — Before last Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, Angels rookie Joe Saunders was primed to pitch in case Bartolo Colon’s back pain remained unsettled. Saunders said his mother flew into Chicago from the family’s Washington, D.C. home only to watch Colon take the mound and pitch an effective six innings in an Angels’ victory. center_img Today, there will be no last-minute heroics from a veteran pitcher. With 18 games left in the season, the Angels will give the baseball to the rookie. Saunders, the organization’s top pitching prospect, will walk into the heat of the pennant race with a start against the Mariners. It will be his second career start with the Angels. Saunders pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and got a no-decision in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 16. last_img read more