Saunders plays numbers game

Joe Saunders pitched with jersey No. 68 for one of the last times Monday. The left-hander will be wearing No. 51 by the time the regular season starts. There was no significance to his new number other than it was lower than the one he had last year when he made his major-league debut.

Saunders’ previous numbers in college or in the minor leagues were 8, 35 and 40. He couldn’t wear No. 8 because it is too low for a pitcher and Nos. 35 (Casey Kotchman) and 40 (Bartolo Colon) are taken. Maybe the new number will help him to avoid outings like Monday’s when he gave up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in six innings. Jered Weaver also is wearing a new number this season, shedding No. 56 for 36, the same number his brother Jeff wears.

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