Roy Oswalt cleared to begin rehab assignment Wednesday

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According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt has been given clearance to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Oswalt has been on the disabled list since the end of June with a bulging disc in his lower back. He threw a successful bullpen session on Friday and told reporters that he felt like he could return to the major leagues after just one minor league rehab outing. Our guess is the first-place Phillies will play it safe and have him make two rehab appearances.

Oswalt, 33, had a 3.79 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 42/18 K/BB ratio this season through 71 1/3 innings (13 starts). He’s going to play a major role for Philadelphia down the stretch and into the postseason.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.