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Diamondbacks GM Towers: Team not looking to dump Saunders

Experience is earned, not coached or taught.

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, speaking to Arizona Sports
620’s Burns and Gambo, said pitcher Joe Saunders has that,
and it’s a big reason why he expects the team to go into
spring training with lefty still on the roster.

“The one thing Joe did bring was experience and a guy that
never spent any time on the DL, he always had 30 starts,
200 innings, double-digit wins and an ERA around four,”
Towers said. “[Ian] Kennedy doesn’t have three years of
experience, neither does [Daniel] Hudson. [Josh]
Collmenter doesn’t even have two, Jarrod Parker has one
start in the big leagues, as much as we like
[Tyler]Skaggs, as much as we like [Patrick] Corbin, Wade
Miley, there is a lot of inexperience there.”

Towers said the team will probably wait until spring
training before making any kind of decision on the 30-
year-old, choosing to see if one of the young pitchers can
prove to be a better option than the veteran.

“If these kids step up and we think they’re better than
Joe Saunders then maybe you talk about moving him at that
time, but as of right now there’s probably a spot for
him.”

Wanting Saunders for his experience arguably says more
about the rest of the staff’s youth than it does Saunders’
age, and it it’s not like the guy had a rough go of it in
his first full season with the Diamondbacks. The former
Angel finished up his first full season in Arizona with a
12-13 record and an ERA of 3.69. He struggled in his
lone postseason start, giving up five hits and three runs
in just three innings of work.

“If you look back in June and July there was a two month
run where he was probably one of the best left-handers in
the National League,” Towers said. “We’ll have to see how
it plays out.”

One thing Towers won’t risk, though, is the starting
rotation’s effectiveness, making the final decision of
what to do with Saunders a tough one.

“If you can’t bridge the gap to your bullpen…not just
one spot, but two or three spots, then your bullpen goes
to hell — everything goes to hell.”


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