Roy Oswalt goes two scoreless in Triple-A start

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Making his 2012 debut after signing with the Rangers earlier this week, Roy Oswalt threw 34 pitches in two scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.

Oswalt gave up a single, a walk and an infield single to start the game, but he got out of that jam with a strikeout and a double-play ball. He gave up another single in the second before finishing his outing.

According to Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, Oswalt was at 91-92 mph consistently with his fastball. That would qualify as a nice surprise even if the gun was a little fast. Oswalt averaged 91.4 mph with his fastball with the Phillies last season, down from 93-94 mph in his prime.

Oswalt is likely to make at least three more minor league starts before joining the Rangers.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.