ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 4: Pitching coach Mike Maddux #31 of the Texas Rangers (C) looks on with a member of the team's medical staff (L) as they watch pitcher Joe Saunders of the Texas Rangers (R) react in pain after throwing a test pitch right after being hit by a batted ball by Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a game on April 4, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Saunders came off the mound and was replaced by pitcher Daniel McCutchen of the Texas Rangers. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers have sorted through several starting pitchers — some on second chances after the first didn't go well. See Tuesday night's starter, Scott Baker, who tossed a nice game against his former team on just three days rest after getting rocked in his first Rangers start on Friday against the Tigers.
Now, another retread will get a shot to cement himself in a rotation that seems to be pretty solid right now with Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Nick Martinez and Nick Tepesch with Baker and Joe Saunders possibly fighting it out for the fifth spot, at least until Derek Holland returns.
Saunders gets his second start in a Rangers uniform on Wednesday against a weak-hitting Twins lineup and should have a chance to put up a solid stat line after his first start of the season went horribly.
Back on April 4 in Tampa, Saunders made a start on the Rangers' first trip through the rotation and ended up taking a comeback line drive off the ankle that put him on the DL, lasting just 3 2/3 innings while giving up five runs (four earned) and a homer. He struck out four and walked three.
Saunders is no ace, but he could be a serviceable fifth starter due to the fact that, when healthy, he has proven to be a quality innings-eater and could battle for another spot when Holland returns or end up as the long-relief man out of the bullpen.