Mike Saunders, Mark Buehrle

By Bob Elliott

St. PETERSBURG _ It has been a bad year for Michael Saunders.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners for J.A. Happ to be the Blue Jays every day left fielder Saunders stepped on a sprinkler head at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in dangerous Dunedin.

Saunders made nine starts for the Jays before he had to shut things down ... and then Saturday night inside Tropicana Field the sun shone down on Saunders’ locker.

Would the Victoria, B.C. native be the Jays left fielder next year?

“Yes,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters., “if he’s back and healthy and productive. We didn’t plan on any of that changing at all. It’s a good problem to have. You’ve got Ben Revere playing great and Mike who we think the world of, we’ll see how that all plays out through the offseason and spring training. 

“There’s no harm in having depth. We know guys get hurt.”

 Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC) didn't play on the final weekend in St. Pete's against the Tampa Bay Rays but he did hear good news when GM Alex Anthopoulos said he would be the left fielder next year. Photo: Eddie Michels.

Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC) didn't play on the final weekend in St. Pete's against the Tampa Bay Rays but he did hear good news when GM Alex Anthopoulos said he would be the left fielder next year. Photo: Eddie Michels.


One final outing for Buehrle: If Mark Buehrle’s left arm is good to go Sunday morning he will start Game 162 for the Blue Jays.

And after he pitches two innings to reach 200 innings for a 15th consecutive year?

Chicago’s Bruce Levine reported late Saturday night Buehrle “would retire after taking the mound briefly Sunday.”

It appears as if Buehrle will not be on the 25-man roster that the Jays are required to submit to the commissioner’s office before the start of Game 1 of the best-of-five American League Division Series, which begins Thursday night at the Rogers Centre.

The Jays view Buehrle as a starter and the 36-year-old is behind David Price, Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada and R.A. Dickey in the pecking order.

This season Buehrle is 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 31 starts, with four complete games. He has walked 32, while striking out 91 in 198 innings. He is a free agent after the World Series.

The roster can change should the Jays advance and if a starter goes down with an injury, but a pitcher must replace a pitcher and a position player must replace a position player.