35-year-old right-hander Roy Oswalt signed with the Rockies on May 2 and made his first start in extended spring training today, throwing 43 pitches over three innings of work. He allowed four runs, but only one was earned due to three first-inning errors.
MLB.com’s Thomas Harding called Oswalt’s fastball velocity “decent” and added some details about his contract:
Oswalt will receive $15,000 per month in the Minors and will earn a pro-rated portion of a $2.3 million Major League salary. If he is not on the Rockies’ roster on June 18 or June 28, he can request his release if not added to the roster within 72 hours.
Oswalt will make one or more starts in extended spring training before being assigned to the Minors. Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggests Oswalt will join the Tulsa Drillers, the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate.
Cardinals starter Shelby Miller completely outclassed the Rockies’ offense tonight, throwing a one-hit shutout at Busch Stadium. The Rockies entered the night with the National League’s best offense, averaging five runs per game, but after a lead-off single by Eric Young in the first inning, they couldn’t muster any semblance of a threat as the Cardinals went on to win 3-0. Miller, the Cardinals’ first round pick (19th overall) in 2009, retired the final 27 hitters he faced, striking out 13 of them as he lowered his ERA on the season to 1.58.
Miller’s performance adds to the Cardinals’ dominating starting rotation. Their aggregate 2.20 ERA is best in baseball by a long shot, outpacing the Tigers at 3.22. The high-quality innings from the rotation is a welcome sight as the Cardinals bring up the rear in bullpen ERA at 5.14, especially brutal having lost closer Jason Motte for the season to Tommy John surgery.
The Cardinals scored once in the second on a Pete Kozma RBI single, once in the third on a Carlos Beltran home run, and once in the fifth on a Jon Jay sacrifice fly. The win moves the Cardinals to 22-12 and they remain three games ahead of the Reds in the NL Central.
Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter tossed a 75-pitch bullpen this afternoon and came away feeling “strong”. The right-hander missed most of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder and was expected to miss all of 2013 with shoulder, neck, and arm issues.
GM John Mozeliak told the media recently, though, that Carpenter could return to the team as a member of the bullpen. The 38-year-old’s continued progress has him inching ever closer to a summer return, which is welcome news for the Cardinals as they watched closer Jason Motte undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more:
What’s next is more bullpen sessions for Carpenter, who said he would have a better idea at the end of the Cardinals’ current homestand as to when he’ll get in games. He said Friday’s session was his fourth or fifth time in the bullpen, and he’s felt no pain and no numbness.
“I’m going to continue to throw bullpens,” he said. “Just continue to get some work up there, continue to put some stress on my arm and see what happens. I’ve had no problems, no issues, no setbacks so far, and my arm feels strong. I’m feeling good about it. I’ll continue to do it.”
At Big League Stew, Mike Oz details how a Marlins “ultimate fan” contest went horribly awry. The directions told fans to post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag “#MarlinsFanCave” to enter to win a prize — a trip to New York City with the Marlins from June 7-9. Gee, what could be more fun than hitting up Times Square with Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs?
Oz quoted some of the responses found on the Marlins Facebook post for the contest:
“you guys have no fans.”
“do I get to hide in shame in this cave?”
“Is this the cave where Loria and Samson are hiding?”
“This organization might just be the funniest joke ever.”
“If anyone needs Marlins cheap first row tickets Message me.”
“Please let me choose the game to watch. If I have to watch the Marlins I would feel like I had lost.”
And from Instagram:
“It’s just pathetic at this point. Cancel this account!! Cancel the season while you’re at it.”
“Wait, there is such a thing as marlins fans?”
When you cut the team’s payroll from $101 million to $50 million, this kind of acrimony is to be expected. The Marlins own baseball’s worst offense and are tied with the Houston Astros at 10-25 for the worst record. As a result, the Marlins have the worst attendance in the National League, averaging fewer than 19,000 fans per game.
It’s the night for apologies, apparently. Jack Morris apologized to Clay Buchholz earlier; now, we have Roy Halladay apologizing to Phillies fans for having pitched poorly and ultimately landing on the disabled list for a lengthy period of time.
Halladay was booed walking off the field in the third inning of his start against the Marlins on May 5 after surrendering nine runs, the final four on a grand slam to Adeiny Hechavarria. He received further criticism from fans after it was revealed he had pitched despite feeling shoulder discomfort.
Via Matt Gelb:
“I’ve been thinking just the last couple of days,” Halladay said. “I just felt like I should address the fans. I know there is a lot of mixed opinions on pitching, not pitching, all that kind of stuff. I know there are people who are disappointed about how I pitched the last two years. I know there are a lot of people who are very supportive.
“So, one, I just wanted to thank them for their support. And my heart goes out to all of the people who spend all of their money and go out to the games and don’t get to see what they want to see. I know I’m not the whole team. There are still a lot of guys out there and it’s a fun team to watch. But I feel bad that I’m missing the time that I am. I feel bad for the fans that I’m missing the time.
In 34.1 innings across seven starts, Halladay had an 8.65 ERA which would have been the worst mark in baseball if not for Phil Humber. The right-hander is expected to miss most of the season as he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. Halladay himself is confident he will be able to come back and contribute before the end of the regular season.