A pair of first-rounders get their turn

Saunders had two starts last year

With starters Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver slowed by injuries, the Angels will turn to the two former first round picks in their Triple-A rotation to help them bridge a gap this week. Dustin Moseley's contract was purchased from Salt Lake this morning, and he will likely trade spots with Joe Saunders to allow the lefty to start tomorrow.

Dustin Moseley, 24, will make his major league debut on Monday night when the Angels open a three game series hosting Cleveland on Monday. The righty, who the Reds selected out of high school in the first round of the 2000 draft, is coming off his two worst starts of the year for Salt Lake.

A right-hander who was derailed by injuries last season, Moseley was among PCL leaders in ERA as recently as three weeks ago, but he has surrendered 17 runs in his last 18.2 innings of work to move his season mark to 3.99. Over his career, the sinkerballer has maintained better than a 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Although Moseley was in Anaheim on Sunday, his contract was not purchased until this morning, meaning that his official stay with the club will likely last just 24 hours. Unless the club decides Jered Weaver's biceps tendonitis requires a stint on the disabled list, Moseley will be sent down to make room on the roster for tomorrow night's starter, Joe Saunders.

Saunders, who the Angels took with the 12th overall pick in 2002, is tied for the PCL lead with 10 victories and ranks in the top ten with a 2.50 ERA and 91 strikeouts in a league-high 126 innings of work. The lefty, who missed all of the 2003 season with shoulder injuries, is in the midst of his best professional season in no small part because he has improved his control and command of the strike zone.

Unlike Moseley, Saunders has maintained his consistency all year, throwing quality starts in 14 of his last 16 appearances.

To make room for Moseley, the Angels will send shortstop Erick Aybar back to Salt Lake. Aybar has a .300 average in 20 at-bats for the major league club, but has been used primarily as a pinch-runner in his second tour of duty with the Angels. He will return to the top of the Bees' lineup where he has swiped 17 bases in 44 games this year.

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