Roy Oswalt can’t get ready fast enough for the Rangers

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While the Rangers wait for Roy Oswalt to build up the arm strength needed to join the rotation they’re using Scott Feldman as the fill-in for Neftali Feliz and … well, it ain’t pretty.

Feldman failed to make it out of the second inning last night against the A’s, allowing eight runs to an offense that ranked dead last among AL teams in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs scored.

It was Feldman’s fourth straight loss and the fourth straight time he couldn’t complete five innings, leaving him with a 7.01 ERA and 14/13 K/BB ratio in 26 innings overall this season.

When asked afterward whether he could continue to stick with Feldman, manager Ron Washington replied: “I don’t think I had time to think about anything like that. We don’t have a lot of options.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and as Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas points out the Rangers could turn to Robby Ross for a couple abbreviated starts while Oswalt finishes up his stint in the minors.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.