Before the 2012 season, Roy Oswalt‘s destination was a hot-button topic. There were lots of rumors flying around that he would join the St. Louis Cardinals, or reunite with the Houston Astros, or even join the Cincinnati Reds‘ rotation. Fans of teams were desperately hoping that their team would sign him, as he’d be a strong veteran presence that could help in a potential pennant run.
He eventually joined the Texas Rangers, pitching in the American League for the first time, and struggled. He went 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA on the season, starting 9 games with the Rangers before being relegated to a bullpen role. The Rangers chose not to re-sign him. Oswalt’s 2013 destination decision was much quieter. The rumors on Oswalt were minimal, as few teams showed interest in the 35 year old. Then, in early May, the Rockies signed Oswalt to an incentive-laden contract, that could be worth up to 4 million dollars. From then on, he’s been pitching in the Rockies’ minor league system, pitching to a 2.16 ERA, awaiting his chance.
That chance appears to have come. After Jon Garland struggled mightily with the team, going 4-6 with a 5.82 ERA, he was released. Adding to Oswalt’s resume, last night (Friday, June 14th) he pitched 8 1/3 innings of 2 hit ball, striking out 7. Oswalt soon could take the place of veteran Jeff Francis, who has struggled to a 2-4 record with a 5.87 ERA. Walt Weiss, the Rockies’ manager, said of Oswalt-
“I think the plan is whenever we felt like he could help us, he’s a piece for us. The next step is just figuring out when and where he fits.”
It looks like the former ace could be returning to the big leagues very soon.