If Ervin Santana wins the Fifth Starter spot, Joe Saunders will likely go to the minor leagues to get in regular work. If Saunders pitches better in Spring Training, Ervin stays at the major league level and works out of the bullpen.
After a few years in the bigs, we cannot say that Ervin is too "immature" to accept (and even excel) as an arm in the pen, but it is the wasting of Joe Saunders' prime years in Salt Lake that concerns me more.
Far from controversy, most discussions about a team's fifth starter are not exactly the man crawling into the oasis from the desert and complaining about only being served Aquafina. Teams are happy to get what they get, whereas the Angels conceivably have a 7th starter (Dustin Moseley) as well as a prime pitching prospect or two in the minors (Nick and Nick). Anyone of these guys would be starters for many Major League teams.
Is a 6-Man rotation out of the question? Would thusly rested pitching arms be of greater help? Is it possible to roll out a 4 man rotation of Lackey-Garland-Saunders-Weaver with Escobar and Santana in the bullpen? Okay, that one was a stretch, got any ideas?