Orioles pick Joe Saunders as Wild Card playoff game starter

30 Comments

UPDATE: Sure enough, the Orioles just announced that they’re going with Saunders over Johnson against the Rangers. Showalter indicated that Johnson’s knee injury played a factor in the decision.

=========

Yu Darvish will start the Wild Card playoff game for the Rangers, but the Orioles remain undecided on who they’ll have on the mound. Or at least manager Buck Showalter hasn’t made his choice public yet.

It will either be left-hander Joe Saunders, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks on August 26, or right-hander Steve Johnson, a 25-year-old rookie who made just four regular season starts.

Based on experience and track record Saunders would be the obvious pick and he’s pitched pretty well since joining the Orioles with a 3.63 ERA and 23/8 K/BB ratio in 45 innings. On the other hand the Rangers are a very right-handed heavy lineup aside from Josh Hamilton and led the league in OPS versus left-handed pitching. Not surprisingly Saunders has pretty brutal career numbers versus Texas.

Johnson was excellent in 38 innings split between the rotation and bullpen, posting a 2.11 ERA and 46/18 K/BB ratio, but he’s been dealing with some knee problems and … well, trusting an unheralded rookie with four career starts in the team’s first playoff game in 15 years would certainly be a gutsy call by Showalter.

Brewers unveil new logo and jerseys

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
10 Comments

On Monday, the Brewers unveiled a familiar logo and new jerseys to help celebrate their 50th anniversary as a franchise. They kickstarted it with a video:

Then they showed various members of the club, including Ryan Braun and Keston Hiura, modeling their new uniforms, which featured the familiar ball-in-mitt logo.

The Brewers are not the only team to to back to a classic. The Padres are bringing back the brown as well. Two very good choices.