Saunders went 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in those three starts but was demoted to Class AAA when Colon came off the disabled list. He has not fared as well with Salt Lake. Saunders is 2-3 with a 5.06 ERA in seven starts there, but has struck out 40 in 42 2/3 innings.
"His stuff is good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "His numbers don't reflect the way he's pitched. He's had one or two tough outings, but his stuff has been good."
The decision to promote Saunders for the start Saturday is an indication of how much right-hander Dustin Moseley has risen in the estimation of the Angels' decision-makers. Moseley was expected to disappear into long relief after making two starts in place of Jered Weaver at the beginning of the season. But Moseley has pitched so well in relief (a 3-0 record and 1.59 ERA in 12 appearances) that he has begun to take on some of the role that Justin Speier occupied before Speier went on the DL with an intestinal problem.
That role can be just as valuable as a spot starter, Scioscia said.
"When you're talking about being able to get the last seven, eight, nine outs in a game and you're part of it -- that can be as important as a starter," he said.