Anyone leery of the decision to sign Roy Oswalt for the rest of the season likely had their convictions shaken on Monday night in Oakland.
Scott Feldman failed to make it into the fifth inning for the fifth time in five starts this season, a run of futility that seems more in line with the awful Rangers teams of the 1970s (David Clyde actually had two such runs) than the back-to-back AL champs of today. Feldman hasn't had much impact on the bottom line for the 33-23 Rangers, but there's really no excuse for a team with championship aspirations to put up with that kind of work in the rotation.
Things aren't quite bad enough for the Rangers to accelerate Oswalt's return to the big leagues, however. Ron Washington said Tuesday that the idea of cutting Oswalt's time in the minors short was discussed briefly before being passed over.
"There was mention of him accelerating, but we don’t want that," Washington said. "We want Oswalt to get ready. That's a quality pitcher. When he gets here we want quality outings. We don’t want him to feel his way or be on a pitch count. We want him to come out and be Oswalt. We want to make sure, so we’re going to give him what he needs."
That's probably the wisest decision the team could make at this point. The team needs Oswalt for the long haul, not an extra start in June, and even a slightly elevated injury risk is too much for the Rangers to take at this point in time.
Washington said there have been other discussions about starting options to take Feldman's place on Saturday against the Giants, but he wouldn't reveal which names were in the mix. He did take steps to rule out Robbie Ross and Martin Perez, who has not pitched well at Triple-A. That doesn't leave many options so it appears Feldman will get at least one more chance at turning in a competent performance.
While that might turn out ugly, the faith the Rangers have in themselves is not. Some teams would panic a bit in the face of a pitching downturn, but the Rangers know they have plenty of qualities that make them able to weather a minor storm.