Saunders is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Padres, according to Sportsnet's Barry Davis. Saunders went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Tuesday's game, so manager John Gibbons decided to give him a mental break Wednesday. Melvin Upton will get the start in left field in Saunders' place.
Saunders went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo homers in Saturday's 14-5 loss to the Mariners. The veteran slugger was one of the few bright spots in the blowout loss, touching up his former team with a pair of round-trippers in the later stages of a blowout defeat. Saunders now has three of his four July homers over the last two games.
Saunders is away from the team Wednesday while tending to a personal issue, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. The reason for the absence is unclear, but Saunders is not with the team Wednesday, so Darwin Barney is getting the starting nod in left field. Manager John Gibbons didn't elaborate on the situation, but he noted that he believes Saunders will be back for Friday's series-opener against the Mariners following Thursday's off day.
Saunders is not in the lineup Wednesday against Arizona, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Playing in an NL park for the second straight day, the Jays are again down a regular hitter and Saunders is the casualty. Toronto will go with Darwin Barney in left field, and he'll serve as the lead off man against Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin.
Saunders finished the first half of 2016 slashing .298/.372/.551 in 305 at-bats over 82 games. The eighth-year outfielder is far-and-away having the best season of his career, crushing his career average line of .240/.312/.406. After bouncing around the order early in the season, Saunders has settled into the cleanup role in the Jays potent lineup, hitting .309 while mashing eight home runs and tallying 22 RBI in 110 at-bats from the four-hole. The key to 29-year-old's success has been his ability to destroy left-handed pitching. The left-hand-hitting Saunders had struggled against southpaws throughout his career, including a putrid .234/.320/.355 line versus them over the past three seasons. However, he's made adjustments to his swing that have led to a .301/.383/.614 line in 2016, and has turned himself into a valuable fantasy asset in most formats.