Roy Oswalt’s second minor-league start involved giving up a grand slam to Royals stud prospect Wil Myers on the way to allowing five runs in four innings at Triple-A.
He’ll move down a level to Double-A for his third tune-up outing tomorrow night and if things go well he could be on the verge of joining the Rangers’ rotation, especially with Derek Holland on the disabled list and fill-in Alexi Ogando now sidelined by a groin injury.
When he signed with the Rangers last month Oswalt indicated that he’d likely need four starts in the minors to get ready, but if Ogando joins Holland and Neftali Feliz on the DL the Rangers may be tempted to push up that timetable a bit.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.