Marlins showing interest in free agent lefty Joe Saunders

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have expressed recent interest left-hander Joe Saunders.

Saunders was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks earlier this month despite posting a respectable 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP across 212 innings in 2011.

The 30-year-old veteran was set to earn around $9 million next season through salary arbitration, and the Snakes deduced that he wasn’t worth it.

If the Marlins are able to lure Saunders in, Chris Volstad could be pushed to the bullpen or moved in a trade. Miami’s other four starters are Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.