Orioles acquire Joe Saunders, "keep walking"
The Orioles acquired starting pitcher Joe Saunders from the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend in exchange for reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named later.
With the acquisition of Lindstrom, Arizona is now home to five former Orioles with one more on the way. In addition to Saunders, Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Matt Albers and Josh Bell are all playing ball in the desert.
Saunders is a 31-year-old lefty from Northern Virginia who spent eight years in the majors with the Angels and the Diamondbacks. He faced the Orioles in seven starts during his time in the American League West and never lost to the Birds. Saunders was 5-0, with a 4.73 ERA, 1.675 WHIP and a .092 K/BB rate. The O's tallied a .333/.381/.479 slash line against him. In three games at Camden Yards, Saunders has a 4.58 ERA and has allowed three home runs.
Overall, Saunders has totaled an 11-5 career record against the American League East with a 7-2 mark in A.L. East stadiums.
I favor Dan Duqette's explanation of the move:
“I like our ballclub’s chances. There’s an old saying that if you’re going in the right direction, keep walking. So the addition of Joe Saunders gives us a good chance to keep walking in the right direction," Duquette said. "I think it gives us better balance against the left-handed lineups we are going to be facing.”
The quick Roar from 34 take: In the language of the 2012 season (nee: 1989), Why Not? The Orioles have plenty of arms in the bullpen and aren't afraid to put some of their young starters there to supplement the team's main strength. Saunders' numbers won't overwhelm anyone, but he adds depth to a patchwork starting rotation that seems to evolve on a week-by-week basis.
It will make a good trivia question one day to name all of the pitchers who started for the Orioles during the 2012 season, a total that will reach 11 when Saunders makes his debut for the Birds.
Here are some other resources on the Saunders move:
What does addition of Joe Saunders mean to the Orioles? (Eduardo Encina, Baltimore Sun)
Get to know the new O: Joe Saunders (Stacey, Camden Chat)
Saunders' career splits (Baseball Reference)