As first teased by Roy Oswalt on his Twitter account, the Rockies just announced that they have signed the veteran right-hander to a minor league contract.
Oswalt is expected to report to extended spring training and will presumably join a minor league affiliate from there. The 35-year-old right-hander wasn’t in camp with a major league team this spring, so it might take him around a month or so in order to build his workload.
It’s worthwhile pickup for the Rockies, who are off to a surprising 17-11 start and have struggled to attract high-profile pitchers over the years. There wasn’t much interest in Oswalt this winter after he had a disappointing 5.80 ERA in nine starts and eight relief appearances with the Rangers last season, but he still managed a 59/11 K/BB ratio in 59 innings. It’s worth a shot to see if he still has something left.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.