Joe Saunders Has a Dead Arm

Considering that the Angels already have three of their starting pitchers currently on the disabled list in John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Kelvim Escobar, you can only figure the regular season can't get here fast enough. Due to the injuries to those pitchers, Joe Saunders has taken over the role as Opening Day starter, and I'll bet you can figure out where this is going.

Yes, with only five more days until the season starts, Saunders is apparently dealing with a dead arm, leaving his status for the first game of the season somewhat in doubt.

Manager Mike Scioscia said he was "disappointed with some of the reports" from Joe Saunders' minor league start Monday and that the left-hander may be experiencing a little dead-arm phase.

Saunders, who gave up five runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings, also could have been fatigued from a weekend bout with food poisoning.

"He got his work in, and his stuff picked up a bit as the game went on, but he wasn't as crisp," Scioscia said. "He could have a little spring-training arm. It could be from the food poisoning."

Most pitchers experience some kind of "dead arm" period during the spring, but it's a lot better when they come during the second week of March than in the final days before the real games start. Since Scioscia can't afford to take any chances with his remaining pitchers at this point, Saunders will be skipping his final spring start and instead have what Scioscia referred to as a "power pen" session before Monday night's opener.

If he continues having trouble during the bullpen session, then odds are Dustin Moseley will get the ball in his place.

Joe Saunders Has a Dead Arm originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 01 Apr 2009 13:11:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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