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Marlins Lose Pitchers in Draft

November 19, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ The World Series champion Florida Marlins left three starters unprotected in Tuesday’s expansion draft, but the players they lost in the first two rounds were pitchers.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays made Tony Saunders the first pick in the draft, then took Florida minor-league reliever Mike Duvall with their second choice in the second round.

Left on the board were second baseman Craig Counsell, third baseman Bobby Bonilla and center fielder Devon White, among others.

New Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild encouraged the selections of Saunders and Duvall, both 23-year-old left-handers. Rothschild was the Marlins’ pitching coach the past three seasons.

``He knows me personally and he knows me professionally,″ Saunders said. ``He knows what he’s getting.″

Saunders was 4-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 1997, his rookie season. He was 3-0 against the NL East champion Atlanta Braves and 1-6 against the rest of the National League.

``A lot was made about how he pitched against the Braves,″ Rothschild said. ``But he’s capable of pitching that way against anybody.″

Duvall had a 4-6 record with a 1.84 ERA in 68 1-3 innings this year for Double-A Portland in his third professional season.

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