Roy Oswalt held a conference call with Rangers reporters today and said he expects to be ready to join the rotation after just four minor-league starts, the first of which is scheduled for Saturday at Triple-A.
While deciding which team to sign with Oswalt was throwing regularly at his home in Mississippi and feels stretched out enough for 85 pitches, but he’ll start off slow with 50-60 pitches in his first outing.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram charted out Oswalt’s expected timetable and, if things go according to the 34-year-old right-hander’s plan, he’d be ready to step into the Rangers’ rotation during an interleague series versus the Rockies that begins on June 22.
Assuming he stays healthy and his recurring back problems aren’t an issue that would leave time for Oswalt to make approximately 17-18 starts, for which he’ll be paid $5 million and can earn an additional $1 million in incentives.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.