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Rangers designate Joe Saunders for assignment

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 4: Pitching coach Mike Maddux #31 of the Texas Rangers (C) looks on with a member of the team’s medical staff as they watch pitcher Joe Saunders of the Texas Rangers (R) react in pain after throwing a test pitch right after being hit by a batted ball by Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a game on April 4, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Saunders came off the mound and was replaced by pitcher Daniel McCutchen of the Texas Rangers. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Saunders; Mike Maddux

Brian Blanco

Joe Saunders talked himself back into the Rangers’ rotation last month following an injury, saying that he didn’t want to take on a bullpen role, but after going 0-5 with a 6.18 ERA in eight starts overall this season Texas has designated the left-hander for assignment.

Saunders was once a decent back-of-the-r0tation starter for the Angels and Diamondbacks, but he’s now 11-21 with a 5.42 ERA in 40 starts since the beginning of last season and coughed up four homers last night against the Orioles.

Given his platoon splits and overall ineffectiveness as a starter switching from the rotation to the bullpen could potentially prolong Saunders’ career, so it’ll be interesting to see if getting let go by the Rangers helps him recognize that at age 33.

In the meantime right-hander Miles Mikolas has been called up from Triple-A to take Saunders’ spot in the rotation and will start Wednesday.

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