Before Scott Feldman even took the mound on Tuesday night, it was pretty apparent that the Texas Rangers had made the move to take his spot in the starting rotation that was left with Neftali Feliz's elbow injury.
There was thought heading into the day that Feldman's start would be his last chance to prove himself to the Rangers' front office to be the long-term replacement until Neftali Feliz is ready to return in a month or two as the team's No. 5 starter. But word had already come down that Oswalt had signed, and during Tuesday night's game, Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels had a press conference announcing the signing while Feldman was struggling to get out of the fifth inning thanks to some shaky defense.
Now, Feldman will just be holding the rope for Oswalt, who is set to make his debut with the Rangers organization on Saturday night in Round Rock for the Triple-A Express, where he came up back in 2000 as a member of the Houston Astros. Oswalt is expected to make three of four starts in Round Rock before being ready to come to Arlington.
And while he's struggled in his past two starts, Feldman can give the Rangers a fair opportunity to win in those remaining starts before Oswalt makes his Rangers debut.
His start previous to Tuesday's, also against the Mariners, was bad. But Tuesday night's wasn't terrible. He went 4 2/3 innings with four hits and three walks (too high) but also got no help from his defense as a 2-1 game quickly ballooned to 4-1 because of two unearned runs and then really got out of hand well after Feldman had been removed from the game.
Daniels made it clear in the mid-game press conference that Feldman will continue to pitch in that rotation spot until Oswalt becomes available, shunning any notion that Alexi Ogando, who doesn't seem right right now, anyway, could move back to the rotation where he excelled for half a season last year.
So Feldman at least has that vote of confidence in knowing that he's got a job in the rotation for at least the time being.
"It was better than my last one," Feldman said after the game of his start. "Hopefully I can build on it and keep working and next time hopefully I'll get through six or seven innings to help the bullpen."