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Report: Roy Oswalt to Sit Until Midseason

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, February 23, 2012 01:15 PM | Comments: 11
2012 Spring Training, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

(PHOTO: AP)

Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes announced that Roy Oswalt would be making an announcement at some point on Thursday regarding his future.

Speculation ran rampant from that point that retirement was in the works, that he would join the Phillies on a minor league deal, or he was saving money on his car insurance by switching to Geico. We now know what lay ahead for Oswalt, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Sources tell Crasnick that Oswalt will sit out the beginning of the season (if nothing pops up), then offer up his services to a team around midseason.

This is essentially the same thing Roger Clemens did years ago.

Oswalt has not gotten the type of attention he was hoping to as a free agent. Reports had Oswalt looking for upwards of $8-10 million on a one year deal. And that was after the market evaporated.

It’s clear no team wants to give him what he so desires from a monetary standpoint. Oswalt will take his chances and look to latch on with a contender at mid-year.

His 2011 season with the Phillies was a mess for most part. He started off strong, going 3-1 in April with four straight quality starts. On April 27 in Arizona, his year took a turn as his family back in Mississippi was affected by tornados, ripping apart his hometown of Weir. His mind during that 3 1/3 inning start in Arizona was clearly on his family, but he also had back issues brewing.

Whether his back was injured prior to going back Mississippi, or he screwed it up while helping to clean up the debris from the storms, the damage had been done. On May 17, Oswalt returned and put together three straight decent performance before it unraveled.

The DL came calling in late June, with speculation that this back injury could be career-threatening. It wasn’t, but the rest of his season was hardly Oswalt-esque as he struggled with inconsistency in August and September.

Oswalt got the call in the Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing five runs in six innings.

From the time he left to return to Weir, Phillies fans never saw the same Oswalt they’d grown to know after his acquisition just prior to the 2010 deadline. Little Roy went 7-1 over his first 12 starts with the Phils, and everyone in town was hooked.

But, by his standards, Oswalt’s 2011 was nightmarish. His head seems to be elsewhere and his back and failed him, to a degree. At one point, Oswalt mentioned that he’d have no trouble hanging up the cleats – that he didn’t need the money. He wanted to pitch at a high level, so if he couldn’t, he knew it’d be time.

With today’s news, Oswalt still believes he can help a team get over the top.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1701 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 325 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    Good move for Oswalt. He’ll get his pick of contending teams, that might be acting stingy now, come June or July.

     
  • Posts: 0 Sean

    definitely didnt mess up his back cleaning up Weir. He used his Backhoe that he was promised by an owner of a dealership down in Weir, Mississippi.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay from Leonardtown

    So, if Blanton is healthy and can be moved, does Oswalt do a 2009 Pedro, and come back to Philly?

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      This would be great for him, and good for the Phillies by default. If Blanton is having a good year and we can trade him, or if *knock on wood* one our top 3 gets significantly injured, we can always make him an offer and I’m sure he’d consider it. Though I seriously doubt that Blanton will have a good first half –even when healthy, his first half of the regular season flat out stinks.

       
  • Posts: 5321 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    RaJa Clemens is in Gauges box! Ah my goodness gracious!

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave P

    Come on, Little Roy. We already gave you $2 million in the buyout. Join us for a second half push come july.

     
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    I watched the interview on CSN with Cliff Lee the other day and it really seemed he had the most effusive praise for Little Roy, of all the guys Barkann mentioned to him. It really looked like he’d love to have Roy back, I would guess because they’re guys with similar backgrounds and interests and such.

    Also, I’d say that the above description is a little harsh. It says he “struggled with inconsistency through August and September” but in reality he went 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA. The ERA is solid (obviously lolERA and all that, but breaking FIP/xFIP down on a game by game basis isn’t available on Baseball Reference) and he suffered a bit from a really high BABIP against (.336). He averaged 6 2/3 innings per start over that span, posting a 6.8k/9, 1.99bb/9 and a very nice 3.4 k/bb ratio. That late-season production, while perhaps a bit less than one might expect from Roy Oswalt, was by no means bad. Oswalt over the final two months had basically 3 poor starts, 4 solid starts and 3 excellent starts (ER allowed per start: 3, 3, 0, 5, 3, 2, 5, 0, 6, 0.)

    As I’ve said all offseason, if they can move Blanton without taking on too much salary I think Oswalt would be a useful upgrade for that 4th SP position. This development makes that situation more likely, IMO, as it gives Blanton a chance to show other teams that he’s healthy and able to be a quality pitcher for them, removing some of the doubt and concerns which would have previously forced them to ask the Phils to cover most of his salary.

    We shall see, I guess.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    The bigger question is… Why would a team trade for Blanton and pay him 4 million (or slightly less if we eat up a bit of his salary) for half a year iif they can get Little Roy midseason for a similar amount of money? (he was asking for 8 for a full year)

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      The answer: Oswalt has already indicated he won’t sign just anywhere. He even turned down the Tigers, who are a legitimate pennant threat.

       
  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    Amazing how Oswalt wasn’t that bad last ysR, but Kendrick sucks. To each their own.

    Ideally Blanton has a very productive first half and Phils can get a few mid level propsects by eating a little $$$. Oswalt would be gravey.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Kendrick sucks only because he’s not Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee. He’s a serviceable ML pitcher. He does his job even when asked to start with no preparation. And his salary, though high, is nowhere near the 1 year/$10 million Oswalt has been looking for.

       
 
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