Rangers' Search For Starters Turns to, Gulp, Joe Saunders

Let’s face it, the back end of the Rangers’ pitching rotation is more discombobulated than John Travolta reading a teleprompter.

When you take a chance on journeyman Joe Saunders, you know Plan A has failed. The original idea, of course, is to have pitchers Derek Holland and Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis supporting ace Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando. Injuries have those plans on hold until at least the All-Star break, so the Rangers are scrambling to find competent 4th and 5th starters until the reinforcements return.

The search has taken the Rangers to Saunders. Scouting report: Yuck.

Saunders was 11-16 with a gaudy 5.26 ERA in Seattle last season. He's the type of 5th starter the Rangers, in years past, have padded their offensive stats with during blowout wins at The Ballpark. The 32-year-old veteran lefty did, however, memorably out-duel Darvish in the 2012 AL Wild-Card playoff game in Arlington.

Saunders will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed contract in hopes of competing with the likes of Tommy Hanson, Michael Kirkman, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Nick Tepesch for a temporary job in the Rangers’ rotation.

If Saunders gets the ball in a start for Texas, you’ll know things have gone awfully awry.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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