Two solid rehab starts convinced the Phillies that Roy Oswalt is ready to return from a six-week back injury, so they’ll activate him from the disabled list for Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Oswalt last pitched on June 23, allowing four runs in two innings, and once he was placed on the DL speculation started about the back problems potentially forcing him into retirement.
Instead his fastball was reportedly clocked in the low-90s during six innings of two-run ball Monday at Triple-A, with Oswalt saying afterward that he “feels great” and is no longer in any pain.
Kyle Kendrick did a very nice job filling in for Oswalt, throwing 40 innings with a 3.15 ERA despite just 20 strikeouts, but he’ll likely be pushed back to the bullpen while Vance Worley remains a starter.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.