Joe Saunders was pleased with his first game action for the Texas Rangers this spring.
The veteran left-hander threw two scoreless innings in a ‘B’ game against the Royals on Friday morning. He allowed two hits with one walk and two strikeouts over a 33-pitch outing. His fastball sat in the 87-91 mph range, which is about standard for him.
Next up will be an ‘A’ game for Saunders, who signed with the Rangers earlier this week as a rotation candidate.
“I don’t know if I feel like I have to win a job,” said Saunders, who went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA over 32 starts with the Mariners last season.
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“I feel like I had a down year. This year I expect to have a bounce back year. I had some bad luck, it’s time to turn the page and start fresh.”
Saunders does feel like he’ll benefit this season by having a solid infield behind him, particularly with Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus behind him.
“They’re vacuums out there,” Saunders said. “If I can keep the ball on the ground, they can sweep them up and throw them to first.”