UPDATE: Roy Oswalt leaves start with lower back strain

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UPDATE: David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal reports that Oswalt is confident he’ll be able to make his next start.

While it was initially announced that he left the game with a lower back strain, Oswalt told reporters that it’s mid-back spasms that aren’t related to his past back issue.

9:57 PM: According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Roy Oswalt left tonight’s game against the Marlins after six innings with a lower back strain.

Oswalt suffered the injury while running to first base on a bunt in the bottom of the sixth inning. He went out to start the top of the seventh inning, but walked off the mound with a trainer before throwing a pitch. He allowed two runs over six innings while striking out six and walking one before leaving the game.

As Zolecki notes, Oswalt has dealt with a lower back issues in the past. The 33-year-old right-hander was shut down in September of 2009 due to lower back inflammation and required an injection in the area prior to the start of the 2010 season.

We’ve remained optimistic about the Phillies because the “Big Four” has managed to avoid the injury bug so far, but another lingering back issue for Oswalt could make things a little more interesting in the National League East.

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.