Duquette on the Saunders trade

Seeking to a bolster an inconsistent starting rotation to continue their playoff push, the Orioles acquired left-hander Joe Saunders and cash considerations from the Diamondbacks on Sunday, in exchange for right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named this winter.  I have a full story up on Orioles.com, but here are a few quotes from EVP Dan Duquette…

[on the trade] “I just think the left-handed addition to our starting rotation and the capability to get more innings at a high level was better for the team at this stage of the season. And, who knows? Joe Saunders is a local kid. Maybe he’s with us beyond this year. That’s something we can certainly take a look at. But this is something that strengthens us now. We have a number of right-handers doing a good job in our bullpen ad we have some other pitchers who are available who can do that job. One of them is here today, Jake Arrieta.”

“He’s pitched in the American League, he’s pitched in the playoffs,” Duquette said of Saunders who has a career 75-62 record and 4.17 ERA in 182 starts. “He’s pitched in a tough ballpark in Arizona. And we just like his experience. I think complements our starting  rotation which has three rookies. And I also like the fact that he’s left-handed, I think that gives us a little bit  better balance as we face some of those left-handed hitting-lineups down the stretch.”

[on Saunders as a fly ball pitcher?]
“I wouldn’t consider him a fly ball pitcher because he has got a good sinker and he’s got a good changeup.  And fly ball pitchers don’t generally do very well in that ballpark in Arizona. So Joe’s a very capable professional pitcher. He can command his fastball, he’s got a good overhand breaking ball and he has a very good changeup. Good competitor, good control. So I think all those attributes will serve him well in our league.”

[on if this helps the push to the playoffs?]
“I like our ballclub’s chances. There’s an old saying that if you’re going in the right direction, keep walking. So the addition of Joe Saunders gives us a good chance to keep walking in the right direction.  I think it gives us better balance against the left-handed lineups we are going to be facing.”

[on if the club is doing making moves]
“We are always looking to improve the ballclub. I am really heartened with the young pitchers that we’ve brought up and have pitched really well. Steve Johnson has done a nice job. Chris Tillman has done a good job. Miguel Gonzalez, they’ve all a very good job. I think Saunders is experienced and the fact that he is left-handed is a really good complement to what those players have done.”

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