Roy Oswalt throws bullpen session, expects to start Thursday

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Roy Oswalt exited his Friday start against the Marlins after six innings because of lower back soreness, but it looks like the injury will prove to be a minor one.

Oswalt felt good enough to throw a 40-pitch bullpen session today and afterward indicated to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he’ll make his scheduled Thursday start against the Padres in San Diego.

Oswalt has a history of back problems, so this qualifies as very good news for the Phillies. He tweaked his back running out a grounder and took the mound for the next half-inning, but then exited with a trainer before throwing another pitch.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.