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Rangers demote struggling Roy Oswalt to the bullpen

Jul 31, 2012, 5:23 PM EDT

Roy Oswalt Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: No matter the reason(s) for Oswalt’s struggles, the Rangers have decided to demote him to the bullpen following their trade for Ryan Dempster. Last time Oswalt made more than one relief appearance in a season? As a 23-year-old rookie in 2001.

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Roy Oswalt got lit up for three homers and a total of eight runs by the Angels last night, and afterward the 34-year-old right-hander told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that his long layoff between starts was to blame.

Oswalt skipped his last turn in the rotation because of back soreness, so he went 12 days between starts, and his mechanics were out of whack:

I need to get a more consistent arm angle. Sometimes I’m down, sometimes I’m too far up. I can’t find that spot that felt great. Not getting to throw for 11 or 12 days, sometimes that happens.

On one hand prior to last night Oswalt had put together back-to-back solid starts. On the other hand he now has a 6.49 ERA and .333 opponents’ batting average in six starts overall, so if his mechanics are to blame for getting knocked around it isn’t something new.

And his struggles are among the reasons why the Rangers are linked to seemingly every veteran starter potentially on the trading block.

  1. beefytrout - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Maybe I’m wrong on this, but someone who has been around as long as Roy should have a good sense of his pitching mechanics by this point. 54 hits in 34 innings? Ouch.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      To be fair I believe pitchers need a routine and practice to get their mechanics worked out. I’m pretty sure a lot of this is muscle memory and training their body to get into a certain rhythm They may KNOW what to do, but if the body is rusty… The brain can yell at the body all it wants, but if the body is listless.

      • Old Gator - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        My brain has been yelling at my body for years. My body learned to ignore it a long, long time ago. Especially that shit about jumping off the roof and flapping my arms real hard.

        Muahahahah.

  2. antlerclaws - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    It’s pretty bad when I have about the same amount of confidence in Scott freaking Feldman as I do in Roy Oswalt. Both of them run either hot or cold; there’s no middle ground. They’re either dominating the opposition for 8 innings or watching home run after home run sail over their heads. Rangers, get a starting pitcher.

  3. makeham98 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    He scammed them. . . suckers.

  4. poprox13 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    lol, this is the perfect story to go along with his offseason antics!

  5. stex52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Should have signed with someone and gone to ST. Now his stock is down to zero for future gigs. Maybe Clemens could get away with this mid-season stuff, but Oswalt tunes his game too much. A very bad strategic decision that will probably cost him any future opportunities. Unless he is just ready to live with not being an MLB pitcher anymore.

  6. keithbangedyermom - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I wouldn’t touch Oswalt when he pulls this midseason bull again next year.

  7. xmatt0926x - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    No surprise here. He looked cooked last season. Age and back problems are not a recipe for success.

  8. alonestartexan - Jul 31, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Oswalt was done when he left Houston…

    • stex52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      I thought he had a bit more in the tank when he left Houston, but you’re pretty much right.

      • xmatt0926x - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        He did have a little in the tank when he left Houston. He had a great half season when he was traded to the Phillies. I believe he had something like a 1.75 era in his starts with the Phillies that year, but you could see the bite on his pitches just wasn’t there anymore.

  9. randygnyc - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    More trouble for the rangers. Neftali Feliz to undergo tommy john surgery this week.

  10. exibitsman - Jul 31, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    this bum is washed up.!!!!!!!!!

  11. turdfurgerson68 - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    So glad the Red Sox took a pass on his dead-ass arm…

    It’s taken 8 years; the revenge of Eric Gagne is finally upon the Rangers!

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