Roy Oswalt throws six innings, 100 pitches in fourth minor league start

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Roy Oswalt has been shaky at times while building up his arm strength in the minors, but yesterday the 34-year-old right-hander threw six innings and stretched out to 100 pitches at Triple-A.

Making his fourth tune-up start since signing with the Rangers late last month, Oswalt allowed two runs on six hits–including just one extra-base hit–and struck out five and walking one.

At the time of the signing Oswalt said he’d be ready to join the Rangers’ rotation after four starts and he’s posted a solid 13/4 K/BB ratio in 15 innings, but has also allowed opponents to hit .308 while allowing 10 runs in those 15 frames.

Oswalt isn’t exactly banging down the door to the majors, but with Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando all on the disabled list and Scott Feldman not getting the job done as a fill-in starter the Rangers may decide he’s already their best option.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.