Left-hander Joe Saunders has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training.
Saunders was terrible for the Mariners in 2013, posting a 5.26 ERA in 183 innings, and then was even worse for the Orioles and Rangers last year with a 6.70 ERA.
In his prime Saunders was a decent middle-of-the-rotation starter who often got overrated by run support-fueled win-loss records, but now at age 34 he looks mostly like Triple-A depth or possibly a middle reliever.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.