MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Joe Saunders #47 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Joe Saunders wasn't expected to be a part of the Texas Rangers' starting rotation back in the spring.
That was supposed to be Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis, with Saunders or Tommy Hanson possibly fitting in if Ogando was shifted back to the bullpen.
Of course, that ended up happening. Hanson was DFA'd. Harrison and Lewis were slow to return and began the season on the disabled list, and now Harrison is out for the season along with Perez. Now, Saunders is a key figure in a battered makeshift rotation after he missed more than a month with an ankle fracture.
Prior to his last start in Anaheim, Saunders was without question the Rangers' second-best starter over his previous three or four starts. In his last start, he couldn't get out of the fifth inning and allowed 13 baserunners.
Now, Saunders will look to bounce back against Detroit and the Tigers' 1c (yes, they have three No. 1s) Anibal Sanchez. It's going to be a tough ask of Saunders to bounce back against a red-hot Tigers lineup, including Ian Kinsler, who will be under the microscope on Wednesday after his controversial wave following a first-inning homer on Tuesday.
Kinsler is a career 12-for-36 hitter against Saunders with four home runs, which is tied for the most home runs Kinsler has hit off any one pitcher.