Making his 2012 debut after signing with the Rangers earlier this week, Roy Oswalt threw 34 pitches in two scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.
Oswalt gave up a single, a walk and an infield single to start the game, but he got out of that jam with a strikeout and a double-play ball. He gave up another single in the second before finishing his outing.
According to Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, Oswalt was at 91-92 mph consistently with his fastball. That would qualify as a nice surprise even if the gun was a little fast. Oswalt averaged 91.4 mph with his fastball with the Phillies last season, down from 93-94 mph in his prime.
Oswalt is likely to make at least three more minor league starts before joining the Rangers.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: