Tag:Roy Oswalt
Posted on: July 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Will Phils again trade for a pitcher?

NEW YORK -- The Phillies opened the second half with two starting position players on the disabled list, and one closer returning from the DL.

So what does that mean for the Phils' trade plans as the July 31 deadline approaches?

Good question, but here's one thing worth remembering: Every year, it seems that manager Charlie Manuel says the Phillies need another hitter. And every year, general manager Ruben Amaro trades for a pitcher.

So even with Ryan Madson returning from the DL, and even with the chance that Jose Contreras may be back, too, it would surprise no one if the Phillies go after someone like Padres closer Heath Bell.

The Phillies have made a midseason trade for a starting pitcher each of the last five years (Jamie Moyer, Kyle Lohse, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt), but with Oswalt on the way back from the DL to join Roy Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels in the rotation, that seems significantly less likely this year.

But don't the pitching-strong Phillies need another bat?

They might, and more specifically they could use a right-handed bat. But Phillies people will remind you that they haven't had their full lineup together very often this year, and that while Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco begin the second half on the DL, neither is expected to be out very long.

Phillies people even suggest that with Madson already back and with Polanco, Victorino and Oswalt soon to follow, they may not need to make any moves. They remind you that money is tight.

History tells you they always make a move.

And history tells you that they usually choose pitchers over hitters.


Polanco, who went on the DL Friday with lower back inflammation, could return as soon as next Wednesday. The Phillies were able to backdate the DL posting by 10 days (to when Polanco last played), and he said Friday that he was able to avoid getting a shot in his back.

"I'm just going to rest it," Polanco said.

Manuel said that Madson won't immediately return to his role as closer. The plan is to use him in the seventh or eighth inning the first time or two. Pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters that Madson won't be used on back-to-back days, for now.

The Phillies have had three closers hurt this year (Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, in addition to Madson), but they've had just three blown saves. And only one of those was in the ninth inning (Madson, on June 9).

Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:42 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 11:47 am

Phillies activate Ruiz from DL

The Phillies have activated catcher Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list.

Next up, Roy Oswalt and Chase Utley.

Ruiz, Oswalt and Utley all played for Class A Clearwater on Thursday night, on minor-league rehabilitation assignments. Ruiz had missed just the last 12 games with a lower back strain, so it's no surprise that he's back quickly. The Phillies needed a catcher, anyway, because backup Brian Schneider just went on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

The Phillies have been careful not to put a timetable on Utley's return, but it's worth remembering that his rehab assignments have tended to be brief. This one figures to be a little longer, because Utley missed all of spring training and hasn't played yet this year, but he hit a home run in the Class A game Thursday.

"So far, so good," Utley told reporters, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly.

Oswalt's status is also uncertain, because he struggled to find his velocity in five innings Thursday. The Phils had been hoping that Oswalt could return to the rotation Tuesday in St. Louis.
Posted on: September 19, 2010 9:23 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 6:03 pm

3 to watch: The Philly dilemma edition

Three games back of the Phillies in the National League East, the best thing the Braves have going for them is six remaining head-to-head meetings with the Phils, starting with a series that begins Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Two and a half games ahead of the Padres in the NL wild-card race, the biggest thing the Braves have going against them is that they play six of their final 12 games against the league's best team -- the Phillies.

"It is tougher," Chipper Jones said. "But I don't think we'd want it any other way."

One reason, of course, is that the Braves would like to think that they can still win the East. To win the East now, they need for the Phillies to lose. The best way to guarantee that the Phillies lose is to beat them yourself.

The other reason is that the Braves actually have a winning record against the Phillies over the last two years. They went 10-8 last season, and they're 7-5 so far this year.

"The one thing we have done really well the last couple of years is play well against the Phillies," Jones said. "And we're going to have to. They're the best team in the National League, and for some reason, we get sky-high to play them.

"To beat them, we need to play a near-perfect game."

But to make the playoffs, the Braves don't need to finish ahead of the Phillies. They just need to win the wild card -- although that might necessitate beating the Phillies a few times.

"Now we can't split hairs," club president John Schuerholz said. "Now it's about getting to the playoffs."

But still, Schuerholz said he doesn't mind it that half of the Braves' remaining schedule features the Phils (with other six games against the Nationals and Marlins).

"It might be the energy level we need," he said. "They will be energized games."

And they're leading off this week's edition of 3 to watch (which doesn't include the Rangers, Twins or Reds, even though all three could clinch their divisions in the next few days:

1. The Phillies were easily able to adjust their rotation, so that the Braves will face Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, maybe the closest thing we've seen to a true Big Three since the days of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. The Braves would have had a harder time making similar adjustments, and thus ace Tim Hudson won't pitch in this series. The Braves planned to start off with Jair Jurrjens, in Braves at Phillies, Monday night (7:05 ET) at Citizens Bank Park , but Jurrjens hurt his right knee in a bullpen session last Friday in New York. So 24-year-old Brandon Beachy, who was in Florida with the Braves' instructional league team, will get the start and make his major-league debut. Rookie Mike Minor and young Tommy Hanson are the other two Braves starters this week. The Phillies' Big Three would be lined up again to pitch in the final three regular-season games in Atlanta, although if the Phils have wrapped up the division by then, there's a chance they wouldn't all pitch.

2. Elsewhere on this site , I made what I thought was a reasoned but traditional case for Felix Hernandez as the American League's Cy Young leader. Hernandez could help his own case considerably with a big performance in Mariners at Blue Jays, Thursday afternoon (12:37 ET) at the Rogers Centre . The Jays have hit a major-league high 128 home runs in 69 home games (nearly two a game), and they average more than five runs a game at home. Hernandez hasn't faced the Blue Jays yet this year. Neither has CC Sabathia, who never lined up with any of the Yankees' first five series against the Jays (but figures to pitch in Toronto during the Yankees Sept. 27-29 visit).

3. First, Sabathia has a rematch with Tampa Bay's David Price, and if it's anything like their last game, it might be the 1 to watch this week. The first time around, a week ago in Florida, Sabathia and Price combined for 16 scoreless innings (eight apiece), while allowing just five hits (three of them off Price). They hook up again in Rays at Yankees, Thursday night (7:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium , and by the time it's over, we should have a better idea of who wins the American League East (and who's the AL wild card), and also of who is the leading threat to Hernandez's chance to win the Cy Young.

Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:23 pm

3 to watch: The Instant rewards? edition

Cliff Lee lost his first start for the Rangers. Dan Haren not only lost his Angels debut, but he was knocked out of the box by a line drive.

Roy Oswalt lost his first Phillies start.

Yeah, it's great to trade for a starting pitcher, isn't it?

You make the deal with hopes that it will go the way it did for Lee last year, when he won his first five starts for the Phillies, then took them all the way to the World Series. You remember that CC Sabathia went 11-2 down the stretch with the 2008 Brewers, and changed the story of a franchise by taking them to the playoffs.

You remember Doyle Alexander (9-0) with the 1987 Tigers. You don't remember Jarrod Washburn (1-3) with the 2009 Tigers.

A starting pitcher traded at midseason doesn't get that many chances to affect the pennant race. Lee made just 12 regular-season starts for the Phillies last year; even Sabathia, who was dealt before the All-Star break and famously pitched on three days' rest down the stretch in September, started only 17 regular-season games for the Brewers.

The best deals make a difference, but with so few starts, each one is precious.

Oswalt makes his second Phils start this Wednesday in Florida. Haren makes his third Angels start Wednesday in Baltimore. Lee, who lost to the Angels in Anaheim on Sunday, will face the A's this weekend in Oakland.

Meanwhile, three other teams show off new starters this week, as you'll see in 3 to watch:

1. The Cardinals no doubt would have rather had Oswalt, but the guy they got was Jake Westbrook, who has come back well from Tommy John surgery. Westbrook's first start will come in Astros at Cardinals, Monday night (8:15 ET) at Busch Stadium . Westbrook is a career American Leaguer. He was 6-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 interleague games against National League teams. His opponent Monday is Brett Myers, the guy a lot of teams would have liked to have traded for; the Astros instead signed him to a contract extension.

2. The Dodgers were seven games out of first place at the deadline, and 4 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race. But the Dodgers obviously still believe they can win, as they picked up four players in the last week, including starter Ted Lilly, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Lilly gets a tough assignment in his debut with his new team, facing Mat Latos in Padres at Dodgers, Tuesday night (10:10 ET) at Dodger Stadium .

3. Edwin Jackson keeps moving from team to team, impressing everyone with his stuff and his makeup, but never making enough of an impact that anyone decides he's indispensible. Will that change with the White Sox, his fifth team in an eight-year career? We'll find out, beginning with White Sox at Tigers, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Comerica Park . One interesting note: Jackson lost his final two starts for the Tigers, both against the White Sox last September. One reason he did, according to a source, is that he was tipping his pitches then and the White Sox had picked it up. Jackson is an interesting deadline pickup, anyway, because his career ERA after the All-Star break is 5.09, more than half a run worse than his pre-break ERA of 4.47.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 11:04 am

3 to watch: The Roy II edition

Aren't top starting pitchers supposed to be hard to find? Don't you need to develop your own, because you'll never be able to trade for one?

This July, they're everywhere.

Well, not everywhere, but the Rangers (Cliff Lee), Angels (Dan Haren) and Phillies (Roy Oswalt) were each able to trade for a starting pitcher whose was a multiple-time All-Star. Two of the three (Lee and Oswalt) have been 20-game winners. All three have received Cy Young votes.

There have been other trades made this month. There will be more trades made before Saturday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline for making deals without waivers.

But we can already say that this will be the July of the ace pitcher.

The Phillies won't be surprised. They've made five in-season trades for starting pitchers in as many years. They've made two trades for All-Star pitchers named Roy in just the last eight months.

Three of the four starters in their likely postseason rotation (if they get there) were acquired in trades.

Trading for Joe Blanton two years ago helped the Phillies win the World Series. Trading for Lee last year got the Phillies back to the World Series.

Now they have Oswalt, to slot in behind Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels in a top of the rotation that could be the best in the game.

Other teams will deal for starting pitchers this month. The White Sox were trying to get Edwin Jackson Friday morning. The Dodgers were reportedly talking about Ted Lilly. Jake Westbrook and Jeremy Guthrie are still out there.

There are some hitters still available, most notably Adam Dunn and Lance Berkman.

But this will be known as the July of the ace, the July of Lee, Haren and Oswalt.

On to 3 to watch:

1. Halladay made his Phillies debut with an 11-1 win on opening day in Washington. Now Oswalt goes to the same spot for his Phils debut, in Phillies at Nationals, Friday night (7:05 ET) at Nationals Park . The Nats won't have Stephen Strasburg to help them sell tickets this weekend, but all that means is that there will be more available for the army of fans traveling down from Philly. One thing they might not want to know: Oswalt is winless in his last seven starts against the Nats, last winning in 2005 at RFK Stadium.

2. It's probably the pennant race more than the possibility of a 600th home run, but Tropicana Field is sold out for all three games this weekend. It will be the first time that the Rays have sold out three consecutive regular-season games. One attraction is Matt Garza, whose first start since his no-hitter comes in Yankees at Rays, Saturday night (7:05 ET) at Tropicana Field .

3. What the Padres have done so far this year is impressive, but the National League West race still seems wide open. One scout familiar with the division predicted this week that the Giants have the best chance of winning it. It sure would help if they added a hitter. By the time they see Clayton Kershaw, in Dodgers at Giants, Sunday night (8:05 ET) at AT&T Park , we'll know whether they have.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:06 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 1:47 pm

Astros talking about Berkman, too

Astros owner Drayton McLane was never willing to trade away stars and concede a season.

Now he may be willing to move two in two days.

After trading Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, the Astros have been talking to teams about first baseman Lance Berkman, CBSSports.com has learned. It's not clear yet which teams would be interested in Berkman, who is 34 years old, has complete no-trade protection, and is having a subpar season (.245, 13 home runs, 49 RBIs).

The Yankees, who have been looking for a hitter with Nick Johnson on the disabled list, could be one possibility.

Because of Berkman's contract, which pays him $14.5 million this year with a $2 million buyout of a 2011 option, it's almost certain that he would pass through waivers unclaimed and would thus be tradeable in August.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:02 am
Edited on: July 29, 2010 10:07 am

If Oswalt was telling truth, then Philly's OK

In public, Roy Oswalt said geography didn't matter. In public, Roy Oswalt said that what mattered most was a chance to win.

Now, if the reports are true, Roy Oswalt can leave a team 17 games under .500 and head to one that has been to the World Series two years in a row, is set up for a strong stretch run and is built to win for a few years to come.

In other words, if Roy Oswalt wasn't lying then, what reason could he give for saying no now?

Money? A 2012 option, which amounts to more money? Yes, it's true that players negotiate no-trade clauses for a reason, and that they're entitled to use them to control their future. But if Oswalt turns down a trade to the Phillies, he's telling us that everything he said over the last two months simply wasn't true.

"Location doesn't matter," Oswalt said as he stood in front of his Yankee Stadium locker on June 11. "It's only for a year and a half."

All that mattered, he said then, was getting a chance to win.

Back then, an Oswalt trade seemed anywhere from problematic to unlikely, because of complications that partly involved the pitcher but centered more on Astros owner Drayton McLane.

McLane has killed Oswalt deals before, notably in 2007 when his baseball staff had worked out a three-way deal that would have sent Oswalt to the Mets, Lastings Milledge to the Orioles and Miguel Tejada to Houston.

Now, a source familiar with the talks said this morning, McLane has been negotiating directly with Phillies president David Montgomery. And while the source insisted there were still loose ends to be tied up, it's clear that McLane has done more than just sign off on the idea of dealing Oswalt to the Phillies.

It's possible that McLane never would have dealt Oswalt to the in-state Rangers, or to the arch-rival Cardinals. It's likely that Oswalt, a Mississippi native, much prefers the idea of pitching for the Cardinals, the Braves or possibly the Rangers.

But that's not really the issue here. That's not the issue now.

The question that matters most is this one: Was Roy Oswalt telling the truth or not?

Posted on: July 27, 2010 2:07 pm

Dunn may well be dealt, but not for Garza

Teams that have spoken to the Nationals about Adam Dunn believe there's a good chance Dunn will be traded by the end of the week.

They also think that the price Nats GM Mike Rizzo is asking for Dunn right now is ridiculously high. Rizzo has been telling teams that to trade Dunn, he would need to get a young starting pitcher who is either major-league ready or close to it.

How ready? Well, according to a source familiar with the talks, last week the Nationals asked the Rays for Matt Garza.

Obviously, that wasn't happening, even before Garza threw the first no-hitter in Rays history on Monday night against the Tigers.

While there's no way for them to know for sure, rival teams believe that Rizzo plans to move Dunn, who is in the last year of his contract. Because of that, they believe that Rizzo's asking price will eventually drop, and that a deal will get done.

The Rays and White Sox have shown interest in Dunn, but a scout from another American League team said he thinks it would be a mistake for an AL team to trade for him. Dunn has said many times that he has no interest in being a designated hitter, and the scout believes that Dunn wouldn't be happy with an AL team.

The Giants, who have also checked on Dunn, would seem to be a better fit. But Giants GM Brian Sabean has been reluctant to move any of his best pitchers, and it's hard to believe he would include them in a move for a rental player like Dunn.


In other trade talk Tuesday, opposing teams increasingly believe that the Phillies want to move Jayson Werth. The asking price for Werth has been similar to what Washington wants for Dunn: a young starting pitcher. Werth will also be a free agent this winter, and while there's believed to be little chance he'll re-sign with the Phillies, one scout said: "He should never leave that ballpark." . . . Other teams still don't count out the Phillies in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes, even though it's well-known that Oswalt would prefer to be dealt to St. Louis, Atlanta or Texas. The Cardinals have interest, but some people who know Astros owner Drayton McLane don't believe he would send Oswalt to the Cards -- or to the Rangers. And the Braves have not shown interest.
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