Right-hander Roy Oswalt, signed by the Rockies to a Minor League deal on May 3, battled mechanical issues in his first start with Double-A Tulsa last night. In five innings, Oswalt allowed three runs on three walks and four hits, including two home runs. At least reports had his fastball touching 94 MPH.
MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports that Oswalt’s struggles were due to his faulty mechanics, to be expected for someone who is still working himself into playing shape.
“I want to work on my fastball command,” he told a reporter after the game. “The biggest thing was my mechanics were off. I felt good in the bullpen, but I tried to create too much once I got out there. The three walks that I gave up bother me more than the home runs because when you can’t pitch with your fastball, your other stuff won’t be that good.”
Oswalt will make three or four more starts before the Rockies make a decision on his future with the big league club. Last year, Oswalt made nine starts and eight relief appearances with the Rangers, posting a 5.80 ERA in 59 innings.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.