Two solid rehab starts convinced the Phillies that Roy Oswalt is ready to return from a six-week back injury, so they’ll activate him from the disabled list for Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Oswalt last pitched on June 23, allowing four runs in two innings, and once he was placed on the DL speculation started about the back problems potentially forcing him into retirement.
Instead his fastball was reportedly clocked in the low-90s during six innings of two-run ball Monday at Triple-A, with Oswalt saying afterward that he “feels great” and is no longer in any pain.
Kyle Kendrick did a very nice job filling in for Oswalt, throwing 40 innings with a 3.15 ERA despite just 20 strikeouts, but he’ll likely be pushed back to the bullpen while Vance Worley remains a starter.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.