Roy Oswalt gets injection, set for Opening Day

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Roy Oswalt is set for his eighth straight Opening Day start next week after getting an injection Monday in his lower back.
Oswalt left his last start Friday because of tightness in his left hamstring. He complained earlier in the week of tightness higher in the area around his left gluteus. The training staff determined that the root of the discomfort was the bulging disc in his back that’s been a problem since 2007. That’s not going away, but taking care of the nerve problem that had resulted was a quick fix.
Oswalt is currently slated to makes his final exhibition start on Wednesday. His Opening Day start will be his team-record eighth for Houston.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.