Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Angels Joe Saunders is Finally Here to Stay

Angels starter Joe Saunders -- who has ridden the I-15 shuttle to Salt Lake so often that Las Vegas should offer him frequent flyer points -- at long last has arrived to stay in Los Angeles.

The promising young lefty will remain not only because he is 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six spot major league appearances so far this season, but because he is out of options and cannot be sent down again without being exposed to a claim by another team.

At this point the worst that could happen is that Saunders would be relegated to the bullpen, but that seems unlikely considering Saunders has a starter's rhythm. Even if former No. 2 starter Ervin Santana should return from the minors, the Angels likely will find a rotation spot for Saunders with former ace Bartolo Colon back on the injured list.

Colon's injury -- the latest in a series of setbacks all season -- has prompted speculation that he may not be able to be effective from this point forward.