Tag:Joe Saunders
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:18 pm

Arizona pondering Saunders' future

DALLAS -- The Diamondbacks are discussing a contract extension with Joe Saunders in talks that could either tie the left-hander to the Arizona rotation for a couple of more seasons ... or land him squarely on the trade block.

With young starters such as Tyler Skaggs and Jarrod Parker close to ready, and young lefties David Holmberg and Patrick Corbin on the way, the Diamondbacks are internally discussing the merits of a two- or three-year extension to Saunders.

He's worked 200 or more innings in each of the past three seasons and, as such, provides shelter for a young staff growing into its future. But he's also arbitration-eligible and due a big raise from the $5.5 million he earned in 2011. Saunders went 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA for the NL West champion Diamondbacks last summer.

If the Diamondbacks decide to go with their young pitching, the Diamondbacks could seize on a weak free agent market and perhaps deal Saunders as early as this week. The slow dance continues on the free agent market with Mark Buehrle (who is being pursued by more than a dozen clubs) and C.J. Wilson.

Beyond them and maybe Edwin Jackson, the best alternatives for clubs looking to acquire starting pitching this winter appears to be on the trade market, where Oakland is receiving hits on Gio Gonzalez, the White Sox are fielding inquiries on John Danks and Houston is shopping Wandy Rodriguez.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:48 pm

Angels to interview DiPoto, Orioles too

Jerry DiPoto, who nearly became Arizona's full-time general manager before the Diamondbacks turned to Kevin Towers last fall, is a wanted man in the executive ranks.

The Angels on Friday became the second team to obtain permission to interview DiPoto for their vacant general manager's job, according to sources, following the Orioles. Baltimore obtained permission from Arizona to speak with DiPoto on Thursday.

DiPoto becomes the third person from outside of their organization with whom the Angels have received permission to speak. Earlier this week, the Angels obtained permission from the Yankees to interview Damon Oppenheimer, executive vice-president of amateur scouting, and Billy Eppler, the Yankees' pro scouting director.

The Angels got an up-close look at DiPoto in July of 2010 while dealing with the Diamondbacks in the Dan Haren trade. DiPoto then was the point man for Arizona, which had fired Josh Byrnes, and it was under DiPoto that the Diamondbacks acquired four pitchers from the Angels for Haren, including Joe Saunders and top prospect Tyler Skaggs.

Highly respected within baseball circles, DiPoto, comes from a playing and scouting background. A former major-league pitcher, DiPoto was Colorado's director of scouting before coming to the Diamondbacks as their director of scouting and player development.

Angels owner Arte Moreno, manager Mike Scioscia, president John Carpino and former GM Bill Stoneman are expected to have input on the hiring of Los Angeles' new GM.

In Baltimore, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, of course, will make the final decision on Andy MacPhail's replacement -- with significant input from manager Buck Showalter.
Posted on: April 10, 2009 7:26 pm

Difficult night at Angel Stadium

 ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It's just after 4 p.m. here, and on the center-field wall, an Angel Stadium crew is affixing a photo of the late Nick Adenhart pitching, right next to a large, round, black banner with a white No. 34.

Adenhart and two others were killed in a tragic hit-and-run traffic accident early Thursday morning, and now the Angels are back tonight to face Boston, and the whole scene here in the quiet of the afternoon is devastatingly heartbreaking.

In front of Angel Stadium, there is a makeshift memorial on the brick pitcher's mound on the grand entrance. There are hundreds of flower arrangements. A couple of funeral wreaths. Lit candles. Framed photos. A thunderstick. Notes. Poems.

When I drove in about 2:15 this afternoon, there were probably 50 or 60 fans/mourners paying their respects amid the stone silence. The guy manning the parking lot entrance was waving those in who said they just wanted to pay their respects and weren't staying for the game. No $8 parking fee for them.

The guard at the front entrance at Angel Stadium, the one who worked the 11 a.m.-7 p.m. shift Thursday, said a steady flow of 50 or 60 people had been streaming to the memorial ever since he arrived for work yesterday. One man made the sign of the cross as he approached. Several bowed their heads in silent prayer. One woman in a red Angels jersey and large sunglasses had a fistful of tissues, dabbing her eyes every few minutes.

The Angels' clubhouse is closed before the game, to re-open tonight after the game. Angels manager Mike Scioscia, pitching coach Mike Butcher and pitchers Joe Saunders and Dustin Moseley spent the past hour in the interview room -- Saunders and Moseley first, Scioscia and Butcher after that.

Adenhart's parents, Jim and Janet, are here and were meeting with outfielder Torii Hunter and pitcher John Lackey. The Angels will wear a patch honoring Adenhart on the left front of their jerseys beginning tonight. His locker will remain intact in their clubhouse and the club will set up a locker in memory of Adenhart on the road this season.

Most of the items remain. His mother and father did remove a few items. Jerseys. And his mother, Janet, took the red cap Nick wore in what was his final start Wednesday night.

There will be a moment of silence and a tribute before tonight's game. It is going to be a tough, tough night.

"Of course we're going to be overcome by emotion," Scioscia said when someone asked how the Angels could prevent it from happening. "This is not like a tough loss of a game. It's a tough loss of the magnitude of which we hope we never are exposed to or see again."


Posted on: May 3, 2008 9:29 pm

Angels on the mound

John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar combined for 37 victories last season, so when they both went onto the disabled list to start the season, there was every reason for the Los Angeles Angels to cough, wheeze and sputter for the season's first several weeks.

So what happens? Left-hander Joe Saunders and righty Ervin Santana each start 5-0, matching Frank Tanana (1978) as the only Angels ever to go 5-0 in the month of April.

More impressive, it's only the second time in major-league history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research, that one team has had a pair of pitchers go 5-0 or better in the month of April. The only other time: Aaron Sele and Rick Helling did it for the 1998 Texas Rangers.

Who, no coincidence, wound up winning the AL West that season.

"We have to keep going, keep it up," Santana said after knocking off Oakland on Wednesday to go 5-0. "I'm 300 percent, 500 percent positive that I can do better."

Santana's math may be a tad off, but he was smiling as he said it and his point was made.

"Joe and Ervin have kind of matched each other pitch for pitch," Angels manager Mike Scioscia says. "They've really been the lead dogs for our rotation."

And the woofing is only going to get louder. While Saunders takes his 5-0 record into Sunday's series finale against Baltimore, Lackey will make his third injury-rehabilitation start for Rancho Cucamonga Quakes -- also on Sunday afternoon. So far, so good with Lackey, and the Angels have him tentatively scheduled to rejoin their rotation on May 14 in Kansas City.

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