Excited to fortify an inexperienced pitching staff during their first playoff run since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles got left-hander Joe Saunders in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Baltimore gave Arizona right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom and cash considerations or a player to be named later on.
Saunders was 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts with Arizona this season. He won 12 games last season while helping the Arizona Diamondbacks win their first National League West title since 2007.
Baltimore started the day tied for the 2nd AL wild-card spot with Oakland and in 3rd place in the American League East, only 4 games behind the division-leading Yankees.
”I like our ballclub’s chances,” declared Dan Duquette, the Orioles vice president of baseball operations. ”There’s an old saying: If you’re going in the right direction, keep walking. So the addition of Joe Saunders gives us a chance to keep walking in the right direction. And I think it gives us better balance against the left-handed lineups that we’re going to be facing.”
Saunders was born in nearby by northern Virginia, played high school ball in Virginia and pitched at Virginia Tech before getting drafted in the 1st round of the 2002 draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
”We’ve liked Joe Saunders for quite a while,” Duquette declared. ”We had some talks with him in the offseason. He is a local kid and a pro left-handed pitcher. He’s won more than he’s lost in the big leagues, he’s pitched in the American League, and he’s pitched in the playoffs. He’s pitched in a tough ballpark in Arizona.”
The Baltimore Orioles have only 1 left-hander in the bullpen and a rotation that includes rookies Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Steve Johnson.
Saunders, 31 years old, has pitched for the Angels and Diamondbacks since launching his big league career in 2005.
Lindstrom went 1-0 with a 2.72 E RA in 34 appearances with the Orioles this season. He has held right-handers to a .207 average and scoreless in 10 of his past 11 outings. Football odds
Lindstrom has played 6 top seasons with Marlins, Astros, Rockies and Baltimore.
”He’s another right-handed power arm. He’s got some experience here in the West too. We’re reasonably familiar with him, and you can see we like power arms in our bullpen, so he’ll be a good addition,’ ‘ Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
Duquette thought Saunders would be more valuable to the Baltimore Orioles than Lindstrom at this point in the season.
”Matt Lindstrom did a pleasant job for us. He made a contribution to the bullpen,” Duquette said. ”I just believe the left-handed addition to our starting rotation and the capacity to get more innings at a very high level was better for the team at this point in the season. And who knows? Joe Saunders is a local kid. Maybe he’s with us beyond this year. That’s something we can take a quick look at. It actually fortifies us now.”
To fill Lindstrom’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Baltimore Orioles recalled right-hander Jake Arrieta from Triple-A Norfolk. Arrieta, Baltimore’s opening day starter, went 3-9 with a 6.13 ERA in 18 starts with the Orioles before getting optioned to Norfolk on July 5.