Roy Oswalt is a start away from joining the Rockies rotation

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Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that, if the Rockies stick to their plan for Roy Oswalt, he’ll make one more minor league start this Friday and then he’ll be back in the bigs. Oswalt has a 2.88 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in 25 innings in four Texas League starts and his velocity is reported to be a healthy low 90s with occasional flashes in the mid-90s.

Will he be the difference between the Rockies contending and not contending? For a while I suppose, as the Rockies are only two games out.  But I don’t feel like Colorado has staying power regardless, which means that at the very least Oswalt could be interesting trade bait if he pitches well and things don’t continue to chug along for the team.

Oswalt appeared in only 17 games and was pretty ineffective for the Rangers in 2012. But if the rest has done him good and those velocity readings are accurate, he will be worth watching.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.