Skip to content

Orioles pick Joe Saunders as Wild Card playoff game starter

Oct 4, 2012, 4:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

UPDATE: Sure enough, the Orioles just announced that they’re going with Saunders over Johnson against the Rangers. Showalter indicated that Johnson’s knee injury played a factor in the decision.

=========

Yu Darvish will start the Wild Card playoff game for the Rangers, but the Orioles remain undecided on who they’ll have on the mound. Or at least manager Buck Showalter hasn’t made his choice public yet.

It will either be left-hander Joe Saunders, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks on August 26, or right-hander Steve Johnson, a 25-year-old rookie who made just four regular season starts.

Based on experience and track record Saunders would be the obvious pick and he’s pitched pretty well since joining the Orioles with a 3.63 ERA and 23/8 K/BB ratio in 45 innings. On the other hand the Rangers are a very right-handed heavy lineup aside from Josh Hamilton and led the league in OPS versus left-handed pitching. Not surprisingly Saunders has pretty brutal career numbers versus Texas.

Johnson was excellent in 38 innings split between the rotation and bullpen, posting a 2.11 ERA and 46/18 K/BB ratio, but he’s been dealing with some knee problems and … well, trusting an unheralded rookie with four career starts in the team’s first playoff game in 15 years would certainly be a gutsy call by Showalter.

Latest Posts
  1. Broken finger sends James Loney to Rays’ disabled list

    May 25, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    james loney getty Getty Images

    Loney was hitting .275 with two homers and a .698 OPS in 30 games.

  2. John Farrell calls for an approved substance pitchers can use for a better grip

    May 25, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell surveys the field before his team takes on the Baltimore Orioles in an MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore

    He thinks it’s silly that guys are risking 8-10 game suspensions for doing something everyone does and everyone thinks is sensible.

  3. Travis Ishikawa designated for assignment by the Giants

    May 25, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    travis ishikawa getty Getty Images

    Ishikawa started (out of position in left field) for the Giants during last year’s World Series-winning playoff run.

  4. Yoenis Cespedes questions the Athletics’ personnel moves

    May 25, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes Getty Images

    “Don’t they want to win a championship?”

  5. A’s closer Sean Doolittle is ready to make his season debut

    May 25, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Sean Doolittle AP

    Doolittle is coming back from a partially torn rotator cuff.

  6. Josh Hamilton is starting in left field and batting fifth for the Rangers today

    May 25, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    Last time he started in left field and batted fifth for the Rangers? July 27, 2010.

  7. Ben Zobrist rejoins the A’s a month after knee surgery

    May 25, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Getty Images

    It might be too little too late for the A’s considering their 16-30 record.

  8. Mike Napoli continues to kill the Angels

    May 25, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Mike Napoli

    Mike Scioscia ran Mike Napoli out of Anaheim. Napoli has beaten the hell out of the Angels ever since.

  9. Royals shut down Danny Duffy with shoulder injury

    May 25, 2015, 10:41 AM EDT

    Danny Duffy Getty Images

    Initially the Royals planned to merely push back Duffy’s next start.

  10. Settling the Scores: Memorial Day Edition

    May 25, 2015, 8:10 AM EDT

    Memorial Day

    Do what you’d like this Memorial Day. Wave a flag. Protest a war. Get great deals at Mattress Wholesalers’ Crazy Memorial Day Sale. But remember that Memorial Day simultaneously is about none of those things and allows for all of those things.

  11. Sonny Gray takes liner off of ankle, but is expected to make his next start

    May 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sonny Gray Sonny Gray

    The struggling Athletics got a scare on Sunday when Sonny Gray was hit by a comebacker, but he’s expected to make his next start.

  12. Jose Reyes expected to rejoin the Blue Jays on Monday

    May 24, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes Jose Reyes

    Veteran shortstop Jose Reyes will return to the Blue Jays on Monday after dealing with a cracked rib.

  13. Video: Yankees induct Bernie Williams into Monument Park

    May 24, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Bernie Williams Getty Images

    Bernie Williams was honored with his induction into Monument Park at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

  14. Video: Justin Upton rips a grand slam to put the Padres up early

    May 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Justin Upton Getty Images

    Justin Upton knocked in six runs in his first two at-bats on Sunday against the Dodgers. Four of them came on a first-inning grand slam.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3950)
  2. R. Castillo (3622)
  3. D. Travis (3338)
  4. A. Pujols (3126)
  5. C. Crisp (3094)
  1. J. Reyes (3090)
  2. Y. Puig (3076)
  3. D. Wright (3046)
  4. B. Harper (3008)
  5. H. Ryu (2972)