Skip to content

Back injury puts Roy Oswalt’s career in jeopardy

Jun 24, 2011, 1:35 AM EDT

oswalt-110623.standard[1]

Roy Oswalt left the Phillies’ 12-2 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday night after allowing four runs in two innings and feeling tightness in his lower back.

Later, we discovered that the pain in Oswalt’s back would cause him to miss his next start.

Now, the news has become grim, as the veteran right-hander is talking about the possibility of his injury sending him to the sideline for good.

From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly:

“You throw as long as you can and when you can’t throw anymore you don’t,” the 33-year-old pitcher said after the game. “Hopefully it’s not to the point where I can’t throw anymore. If it’s at that point, you just have to accept it.”

Oswalt said he will have an MRI on Monday – doesn’t that seem a little far off for something this serious? – and if the examination brings the type of news that puts his career in jeopardy …

“I’ve had a pretty good one,” Oswalt said with resignation.

Yikes.

Oswalt has been dealing with back issues for years, and told Salisbury that he has had “a lot” of cortisone injections over the years. An MRI “a year or two ago” revealed two degenerative discs. This season, Oswalt says, he has felt pain “when I sit down, stand up, walk, pitch, sleep,” and he already spent more than two weeks on the disabled list earlier this season.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said “he’s had trouble for quite a while. This started back in Arizona (in April). … I’m definitely concerned about it.”

The loss of Oswalt would be a blow to a team built around its starting rotation of Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. No. 5 starter Joe Blanton has been sidelined since mid-May with elbow inflammation, but rookie Vance Worley has been solid in his place, going 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA in seven games (five starts).

Kyle Kendrick, who allowed two runs in four innings in relief of Oswalt on Thursday, would seem to be the likely candidate to step into the rotation. He is 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 18 appearances (including five starts) this season.

Oswalt, a three-time All-Star, is 154-89 with a 3.52 ERA in his 11-year career. He has a mutual option with the Phillies for $16 million next season. If he walks away, or the team buys him out, he’ll be owed $2 million.

 

Latest Posts
  1. Clayton Kershaw’s scoreless streak ends after 41 2/3 innings

    Jul 11, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw Clayton Kershaw

    Kershaw’s streak is the third longest since 1990.

  2. Phillies calling up Grady Sizemore

    Jul 10, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Grady Sizemore Getty Getty Images

    Grady Sizemore was released by the Red Sox last month, but he’s getting another chance with the Phillies.

  3. Arismendy Alcantara to remain with Cubs for now

    Jul 10, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Arismendy Alcantara AP AP

    The original plan called for Cubs prospect Arismendy Alcantara to get a cup of coffee in the big leagues for a couple of days while Darwin Barney was away on paternity leave, but his big game against the Reds this afternoon has changed things.

  4. Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow

    Jul 10, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka Getty Getty Images

    The diagnosis is in on Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and it’s not particularly promising.

  5. Derek Jeter’s retirement gifts from the Indians: A LEGO mosaic and a pinstriped electric guitar

    Jul 10, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    BsN7iXzCcAM9A7H

    Derek Jeter’s farewell tour continued this evening at Progressive Field in Cleveland and the Yankee captain walked away with some pretty cool gifts.

  6. UPDATE: Brewers calling up prospect Jimmy Nelson; Marco Estrada moved to bullpen

    Jul 10, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Jimmy Nelson Brewers AP

    Marco Estrada was scheduled to start Saturday, but he’s been terrible all season while serving up an NL-high 27 homers in 18 starts.

  7. Carl Crawford activated from disabled list; will return as a bench player

    Jul 10, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT

    Carl Crawford Getty Getty Images

    Carl Crawford was the Dodgers’ primary left fielder prior to landing on the disabled list in late May with a left ankle sprain, but now he’s a really expensive bench player.

  8. Josh Donaldson and Justin Morneau added to Home Run Derby

    Jul 10, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    BsN6GzICMAEmD2y

    The field for next week’s Home Run Derby is officially in place.

  9. Brewers get swept by Phillies; have lost nine out of 10

    Jul 10, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    Ryan Howard AP AP

    The Cardinals and Reds were both dealt some tough blows on the injury front today, but the Brewers are doing their part to let them hang around in the National League Central.

  10. Erick Aybar named to All-Star team as injury replacement

    Jul 10, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

    Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is out for the All-Star game because of a wrist injury, so MLB has named Angels shortstop Erick Aybar as his replacement on the American League roster.

  11. Angels place struggling C.J. Wilson on the disabled list with a sprained ankle

    Jul 10, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    C.J, Wilson Getty Images

    Wilson failed to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday and hasn’t made it past five innings since June 19, allowing 22 runs in 16.2 innings during that span.

  12. Must-click link: the vanishing screwball

    Jul 10, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Screw ball

    Hardly anyone throws it anymore. Why?

  13. White Sox sign No. 3 pick Carlos Rodon for $6.6 million

    Jul 10, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Carlos Rodon AP

    White Sox general manager Rick Hahn repeatedly expressed confidence in his ability to get No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon signed despite the North Carolina State left-hander being a Scott Boras client and sure enough the two sides have reached an agreement.

  14. Yadier Molina to miss 8-12 weeks with a torn thumb ligament

    Jul 10, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    yadier molina getty Getty Images

    A tough, tough break for the Cardinals and Yadier Molina.

  15. Carlos Beltran placed on concussion disabled list after batting practice mishap

    Jul 10, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

    Carols Beltran Getty Images

    Carlos Beltran was scratched from the Yankees’ lineup last night when a ball he hit during batting practice bounced off the screen protecting the pitcher and struck his eye. And now he’s been diagnosed with two facial fractures, but they’ve been classified as “small” and the Yankees think he’ll avoid the disabled list.

  16. Brandon Phillips needs surgery for a torn thumb ligament

    Jul 10, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Brandon Phillips AP

    Cincinnati’s injury woes keep getting worse, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips will be “out a while” with a ligament issue and possible tear in his left thumb.

  17. Ryan Braun rejoins the Brewers lineup batting fifth for the first time since 2008

    Jul 10, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Ryan Braun Getty Images

    Braun has hit exclusively second (37 times) or third (32 times) in the lineup this season and has a grand total of just three career starts in the fifth spot, all of them coming 2008.

  18. The first Derek Jeter Publishing title is available for pre-order

    Jul 10, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

    jeter-reuiters Reuters

    It’s a magical realism thing: features a coach putting Jeter at second base.

  19. Homer Bailey leaves the game with a scary-looking injury

    Jul 10, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    Homer Bailey AP

    Could be bad news for the Reds and Bailey

Featured video

Time for Red Sox to be sellers?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gonzalez (2330)
  2. J. Hammel (2285)
  3. M. Tanaka (2088)
  4. T. Tulowitzki (2033)
  5. B. Moss (2027)