Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt is working out at Mississippi State University and aiming to catch on with a new team at some point in the near future.
Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber of RMG Baseball, told Dierkes that Oswalt isn’t worried about geography like he was last year — when he would only accept offers from the Rangers and Cardinals. But Oswalt does want to pitch for a contender and is open to working as a reliever if it’s an attractive situation.
Oswalt posted a 5.80 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 59 innings (nine starts, eight relief appearances) last season for Texas. Teams haven’t exactly been lining up for the 35-year-old this winter, but maybe he’ll get a call as Opening Day approaches from an organization in desperate need of last-minute pitching depth.
Garber told Dierkes that returning to the Astros is something Oswalt wants to do before he retires.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.