Gibson Mum On Options To Replace Saunders In Rotation

Should we be too surprised that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson isn't forthcoming about what the D-backs will do to replace the injured Joe Saunders, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder Saturday after being scratched from his start right before Friday's game?

Nope. Playing it close to the vest is a Gibby staple.

But there are options, and Gibson said they're mostly internal. The most obvious one is to keep Josh Collmenter in the rotation after his solid four innings Friday, with the hope being that Collmenter has solved his problems as a starter from earlier in the season.

"He's just so versatile, he's got the experience," Gibson said before Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs, adding that it isn't likely but still possible the D-backs could look for a replacement outside the organization.

Collmenter makes the most sense, given that he'll be unavailable unless a game goes in to deep extra innings for the next two or three days anyway. But the D-backs lose their best long reliever in that case.

The off-day Monday might allow the D-backs to move Saturday's starter, Ian Kennedy, up a day to cover for the absence of Saunders. And then there is Trevor Bauer, waiting for his shot at the bigs down in Reno.

"He's a candidate, probably, as well as anybody. Is he ready? How do you know?" Gibson said. "There's certain things that he does great. We all know he's got great stuff... If I was Trevor...I would argue I'd get better with better competition, and I think that's probably how he thinks."

Patrick Corbin, who has big-league experience with five starts earlier this season, could also get a callup.

The good news for Saunders is that his shoulder problem appears to be just irritation and nothing more, though Saunders said he underwent an MRI Saturday morning.

Saunders said he's been told to take it easy for a few days and doesn't know when he will throw next, but he doesn't expect any major rehabilitation.

In his mind, he'd like to miss only one start.

"They don't want to keep having this come up and they just want to take care of it right now. So they're just playing the cautious role and shutting me down for a little while and then starting me back up and then I'll be all good to go for the rest of the year," Saunders said Saturday.

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