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DFW Quick Hits 6/11

June 11, 2012

Roy Oswalt:

*3 time All-Star and 1 time NLCS MVP in his 11 year career.

*Only 1 of his 11 seasons did he have an ERA higher than 3.69.

*All 11 seasons he spent in the National League.

*In 8 of his 11 seasons he had a WHIP of 1.20 or better with his worst season being a 1.34 WHIP which is still better than Yu Darvish and Scott Feldman this season.

*Last season was his first full season for a club in which he had a winning percentage below 50% (lost more than he won).

*Last season was his highest WHIP (1.34), 2nd highest ERA (3.69), and worst strikeouts per 9 innings of his career (6.02).

Oswalt is basically a formerly great player who is now on the decline. The question is how much has he declined and how much of an upgrade is he compared to the player he’s replacing. When comparing him to Feldman the acquisition is a no brainer as he is a giant upgrade over Feldman who has been rocked lately by teams and the recent injuries to Feliz,Holland, and Ogando no longer make the Oswalt acquisition even a question. It is clearly a good move on the Rangers part as without him they would be starting Feldman, spot starting Ross, AND starting a minor leaguer like a Michael Kirkman. The Oswalt signing makes the Rangers less desperate right now yet none of the three injuries appear to be too serious and if all three come back healthy the Oswalt signing could create a logjam in the rotation. Presumably Feliz would move back to the bullpen, a move I completely disagree with as his numbers suggest he’s been the 2nd best starter this year, yet with that move Washington would be left with his 5 starters being Darvish, Oswalt, Holland, Lewis, Harrison. It still is a rotation that is more about depth in the back end than ace level talent at the front end as Lewis leads the team with a very average 3.38 ERA, Darvish is showing a lack of control that scares me, and Harrison’s very poor 5.47 k/9 suggests that his 8 wins and 3.87 ERA are both due to some lucky breaks. Oswalt’s signing is going to be a great boost for a team in need of it in the short term yet his numbers from his last season in Philadelphia and his switch from the NL to the AL suggests that he’s likely to not be the savior some are making him out to be. Most likely he’ll battle for the #3 or 4 spot in the rotation and be a slight upgrade this year at the expense of giving younger players like Ogando, Feliz, and Ross more experience as starters. It’s championship or bust this season so I understand the logic of the move, and the injuries to three pitchers suddenly makes the move look great, but I do wonder if we’ll be seeing Oswalt at his worst. He turns 35 this season, is coming off his worst year, is moving from the NL to the AL, and is moving to statistically the 2nd most hitter friendly park in the majors. That’s a lot to overcome so while I’m not criticizing the move I have to admit that I’m no longer as excited about it as I was a few weeks ago before I looked at it from other angles. There is no risk right now to the move as he’s replacing a spot starter now and Feldman in a few weeks but come playoff time he’ll be replacing a young talent like Feliz or Ogando and that might come back to haunt the team. Wash favors vets over younger players so Oswalt is basically guaranteed a rotation spot come playoff time and that will be worrisome as his last playoff game (6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 ER, 7.50 ERA) was terrible and everything that has changed (age, league, ballpark) has changed for the worse. Come October this move could look a lot worse than it does now and I don’t think Wash is the type that would ever bench Oswalt in the playoffs so hopefully he’s pitching well at that point because he’s for sure getting the ball.

Robbie Ross: The former pink Cowboy (outfit recently handed down to the new “rookie” Tanner Scheppers) turns 23 later this month and anyone who watched his 4 inning relief appearance Sunday (1 hit, 0 BB, 0 ER) must have been pleased with how he’s pitched lately. A surprise roster spot winner, the lefty has been under the radar all year yet is starting to gain a reputation as a top level reliever as he hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past 17 2/3 innings and 20 of his 23 appearances this year have been scoreless.

Terrell Owens: With all that has happened to him lately it’s unlikely any NFL team is going to take a chance on him but rumors persist that the Cowboys have had an internal discussion about bringing him in as the #3 WR and that it hasn’t been completely dismissed. I think that if the team’s other options don’t work out he could be a great value but would prefer one of the younger players taking the role as it would be better for chemistry and help the team give their young receivers experience. Chris Fleming considers it a terrible move as well but in somewhat more descriptive terms, “Bringing back TO would be like a dog eatting its own vomit you have already been through that once, why do it again.”


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