Some chatter while we wait for Roy Oswalt's decision

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As Drew noted last night, there’s a deal in place between the Phillies and the Astros for Roy Oswalt.  Everyone is now waiting for Oswalt’s decision on his no trade clause.  I have some thoughts on that (see below) but in the meantime, let’s speculate about what the deal may look like, assuming it goes through.

The rumor that has been going around is that the Phillies would get some money along with Oswalt — the figure I saw was $8 million — and that in exchange they’d send back J.A. Happ and prospects Matt Rizzotti and Vance Worley.  We all know Happ, so let’s look at the rumored prospects.

Rizzotti is a 1B/DH who has been raking in high-A and AA this year, with a combined line of .362/.443/.595 (and the numbers are actually better at AA than A). The problem with him, though is that he turns 25 after this season which makes him a bit old for the leagues he’s in. While it’s possible that he’s a late bloomer who made a big leap forward this year, the guy doesn’t really project to a big time major league talent. He could probably start for a bad team like Houston, though.

Worley is a 22 year-old starter who is 9-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 starts, all but one of which have come at AA (he was recently promoted to Lehigh Valley).  His strikeout numbers don’t suggest he’s an overpowering pitcher — he has a 6.6 K/9 in his minor league career — but he’s decent enough. My guess is that he projects as a swingman/4th-5th starter-type.

Overwhelming? Nah. But given how much money Oswalt is owed, it would be an OK haul I guess. And of course the deal could involve different dudes. More than anything, though, it probably speaks volumes about how light St. Louis’ farm system is that they couldn’t find some mid-level prospects to fill out a deal like this to make it happen.

As for Oswalt’s decision: everything I had been hearing last week was that he didn’t want to go to Philly due to some combination of him (a) not feeling comfortable with the organization; (b) not feeling that they had as good a chance to win as St. Louis; and (c) simply liking St. Louis.  In the last week, however, the Phillies have been on a roll and the Cardinals have appeared to not be a realistic match.

We all have desires in this world, but sometimes we have to adjust them when the facts on the ground make them unreasonable.  Given that two of the three things that had been turning Oswalt off to the Phillies are no longer operative, he may just say “screw it” and go where he has a chance to win something this year.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.