Joe Saunders designated for assignment

Joe Saunders designated for assignment

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Joe Saunders (47) reacts after giving up a double in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Globe Life Park in Arlington . Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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Texas Rangers

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 1 at 2:52 PM

The Texas Rangers announced Tuesday that the club has designated left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders for assignment and recalled right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas (pronounced “MIY-koh-lahs”) from Triple-A Round Rock. Mikolas (#36) is scheduled to start for Texas on Wednesday at Baltimore.

Saunders went 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA (27 ER/39.2 IP) over eight starts with the Rangers this season, including taking the loss in last night’s series opener.  The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or outright Saunders to the minor leagues.

In his four starts between May 28 and June 14, Saunders posted a 2.42 ERA, allowing just one home run over 22.1 innings. Since June 14, he has allowed six home runs and has an 11.20 ERA in just 13.2 innings over three starts.

He allowed four home runs in his last start Monday night against Baltimore.

Mikolas, 25, is scheduled to make his first major league start in tomorrow’s game in Baltimore.  This is his second stint with the Rangers this season, as he did not appear during his first stint from May 14-17.  He has gone 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA (16 ER/44.2 IP) in 16 games/6 starts for Round Rock (AAA) this season.  He entered the year with just 11 career starts at the minor league level, all in his first professional season, but has gone 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA (13 ER/32.2 IP) in his six Triple-A starts after joining the Express rotation on May 30. He has 29 strikeouts and just three walks in those six starts.  His last start came in Round Rock’s 9-1 victory on Thursday at Memphis (6.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR, 95 pitches/67 strikes).  He opened the season on the Round Rock disabled list with an elbow strain and made 10 relief appearances after being activated on April 19.

Mikolas was in major league camp this spring, but was limited due to the right elbow strain. He was acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for first baseman Chris McGuiness on Dec. 30, 2013. His only major league action came in 2012-13 with San Diego, going a combined 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA (13 ER/34.0 IP) in 27 relief outings.

With Tuesday's moves, the Rangers now have 39 players on the club’s 40-man roster.

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