Roy Oswalt will fall under consideration as the Texas Rangers decided how they will fill the hole in their rotation left by recently injured starter Neftali Feliz. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Oswalt isn’t an “immediate option” but Texas will “consider” the veteran right-hander. The Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox have also been tied to Oswalt recently.
After it was reported that Oswalt held workouts for the Red Sox and Phillies last week, it was announced that the 34-year-old threw for the Rangers Friday. Texas initially said they were just doing their due diligence, but Neftali Feliz’s injury could change their stance on Oswalt.
At this point the Rangers have named Scott Feldman as Feliz’s replacement. Texas also has former starter Alexi Ogando pitching out of their ‘pen and a pair of highly-touted young arms sitting in Triple-A; Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez.
While they certainly have options, each brings with them question marks. Feldman has been a starter for the Rangers, but he has a career ERA and WHIP of 4.71 and 1.420 and has fared better pitching in relief. The Rangers don’t appear ready to move Ogando from his late-inning role to that of starting pitcher.
Perez and Ramirez are each pitching at the highest level of the minors, but neither has exactly earned a promotion. Perez has posted an ERA and WHIP of 5.72 and 1.489 over his 45 2/3 innings pitched while Ramirez’s marks sit at 6.75 and 1.341 in 44 IP.
Texas had been tied to Oswalt this offseason and into the spring. Though there was never a clear fit for the Rangers, Oswalt preferred Texas because of its proximity to his Mississippi home. Oswalt has said that he’d be open to signing anywhere midseason, though you’d have to figure that closer to home would still be better for the family man.
The Rangers certainly have championship aspirations after falling just short of a World Series crown in back-to-back seasons. There are question marks surrounding Oswalt, but the veteran’s addition would seem to bolster an already formidable club.
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