Saunders set to return to rotation

Saunders set to return to rotation

DETROIT -- Joe Saunders is ready to return to the rotation and Scott Baker should be available as a reliever on Monday. But the Rangers aren't revealing what roster move they'll make on Wednesday when Saunders is activated off the disabled list to start against the Twins.

"I don't have any comment on that right now," manager Ron Washington said before Sunday's game against the Tigers.

Saunders has been sidelined since his only start on April 4 against the Rays. He was hit on the left ankle by a shot off the bat of Evan Longoria and has been sidelined since then with a stress fracture. He has made four starts on a rehab assignment, two at Double-A Frisco and two at Triple-A Round Rock.

"I'm ready to go," Saunders said. "You take my first start at Triple-A, two runs in five innings. My last outing, one run in seven innings. I'm getting a lot of ground balls. I feel like my mechanics are right on point."

Saunders had a short Spring Training. The Rangers signed him three weeks into camp and put the rush on to get him ready for Opening Day. The time on the disabled list not only allowed the ankle to heal, but to get him more properly prepared for a Major League season.

"It could have been a blessing in disguise," Saunders said. "Maybe I wasn't ready to go through April. Maybe the line drive off the ankle was a wakeup call. God works in mysterious ways."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.