Joe Saunders has something to prove


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. 

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.