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.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.