The Colorado Rockies could give Roy Oswalt his 2013 regular season debut against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, according to a tweet from Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck expects Oswalt to start this week, with Thursday being his prediction, and he also wonders if this will lead the Rockies to get rid of Jeff Francis or dump Juan Nicasio into the bullpen. The Rockies have a lot of options, and it’s going to be difficult for them to ascertain which one makes the most sense. Is a big change needed or should the Rockies just make a minor tweak to accommodate Oswalt?
Roy Oswalt signed on with the Rockies on a no-risk minor league deal back in early May, and it really was a steal for the Rockies when you look at it. Although it was only Double-A, Oswalt absolutely lit up the minor league circuit in 33 1/3 innings at Tulsa with excellent control, a WHIP under 1.00, and a very nice 2.16 ERA to go with that. Oswalt, however, didn’t have the best Major League success the last time out in 2012 with the Texas Rangers, but he’ll likely have an ERA under 5.00 for the Rockies.
With every recent rehab start, Oswalt has come closer to making the Rockies callup on the MLB roster, and he looked great in his fourth rehab start at Double-A Tulsa on Friday. Oswalt orchestrated 8 1/3 shutout innings with just five hits allowed, and the 35-year-old righty was able to get through 102 pitches and add seven strikeouts. Some expect Oswalt to pitch on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but it seems like a date against the Nats is more likely. It looks like Oswalt’s velocity is back, and that could be deadly for Rockies opponents combined with his accuracy. He’s looked great in rehab starts, and hopefully the former elite starter can look great in the real games that will start for him later on this week.