Roy Oswalt: team player

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Roy Oswalt stunk up the joint starting for the Rangers, so they moved him to the bullpen. Texas needs the bullpen help and, in his first two outings as a reliever, Oswalt has been darn good, pitching three scoreless innings.

But yesterday, when Ron Washington wanted one more inning out of him, Oswalt said no, despite the fact that he hasn’t been worked particularly hard lately.  Evan Grant reports:

Manager Ron Washington was ready to send Oswalt back out for the ninth inning of what was then a tie game, but Oswalt declined … “He said he couldn’t go any further,” Washington said. “He said he had enough. To get anymore, you have to ask him.”

That, combined with Jon Daniels’ acknowledgment that Oswalt and/or his agent has voiced his displeasure with moving to the pen sure makes it sound like Oswalt is pouting.

When Oswalt held off signing with anyone at the beginning of the year and then went to Texas, he said that he wanted to be in the position to get a World Series ring. Now he’s with a team that stands a good chance of getting one, and he apparently doesn’t want to do what’s necessary to get that ring.

But hey, if starting is more important to him, I’m sure Houston would welcome him back.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.