Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Joe Saunders replaces Baker in rotation

By Richard Durrett

DETROIT -- Joe Saunders returns to the Texas Rangers starting rotation Wednesday in Minnesota as the club decided to move Scott Baker back to the bullpen and alter the staff.

Baker allowed six runs in six innings in Friday's 7-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Saunders, who suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle after he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Evan Longoria on April 4, has made four rehab starts in the minor leagues. He gave up one run in seven innings with Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday. He threw a bullpen Friday and has said that he's done all he can to get in shape to return to the staff.

Before Longoria ended Saunders' first start, he had allowed five runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. This came after he struggled in spring training once he signed with the Rangers.

Saunders was 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts (183 innings) last season with the Seattle Mariners. In his 10-year career, the 32-year-old Saunders is 89-82 with a 4.31 ERA with Angels, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Mariners and now Rangers.

Baker will go to the bullpen, likely as the long man, and will be available starting Monday.