Joe Saunders has something to prove

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Joe Saunders already told reporters last week that he feels he is “just as good” as Dan Haren and through two starts with his new team, it’s pretty clear he is on a mission to prove just that.

After holding the Phillies to two runs over seven innings in his D-Backs’ debut last Thursday, Saunders allowed just one run in a complete-game win over the Nationals on Tuesday night.

Saunders told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he felt some extra weight to step it up for his home debut.

“It’s nice that he (Gibson) has the confidence in me. There was a little talk about the Diamondbacks gave up a
lot in Haren. I’m here to prove the fans wrong, obviously, and prove my
worth to the organization.”

 “Tonight was a big night. First impressions are big, and I had a decent start.”

There’s obviously a lot of pride on the line for Saunders here, but his new home isn’t going to change the fact that his 55-32 career win-loss record is over-rated based on the quality of the team he played for. Wins are going to be harder to come by in the desert, likely exposing him for the mid-rotation starter that he truly is. 

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.