Roy Oswalt thinks he’ll be ready to join the Rangers within a month

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Roy Oswalt held a conference call with Rangers reporters today and said he expects to be ready to join the rotation after just four minor-league starts, the first of which is scheduled for Saturday at Triple-A.

While deciding which team to sign with Oswalt was throwing regularly at his home in Mississippi and feels stretched out enough for 85 pitches, but he’ll start off slow with 50-60 pitches in his first outing.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram charted out Oswalt’s expected timetable and, if things go according to the 34-year-old right-hander’s plan, he’d be ready to step into the Rangers’ rotation during an interleague series versus the Rockies that begins on June 22.

Assuming he stays healthy and his recurring back problems aren’t an issue that would leave time for Oswalt to make approximately 17-18 starts, for which he’ll be paid $5 million and can earn an additional $1 million in incentives.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.