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Roy Oswalt Gets Closer to Rangers While Moving Away

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Oswalt Closer to Rangers While Moving Away

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The Rangers pitching staff is obviously in favor of Roy Oswalt joining the team.

How else could you explain the way they have raced to the disabled list since Oswalt signed with the team? If it were just Derek Holland, we might have accepted that there was nothing more than coincidence at work. Alexi Ogando's injury is too much to take, especially with it coming as he's doing a bit too much hustling on the base paths.

So, it seems we can agree that the team's pitchers are falling all over themselves to give Oswalt a spot to call his own in the rotation. That leaves only the question of when the Rangers will follow their lead and call Oswalt up to the big leagues.

If you're a reader of tea leaves, you might see the decision to pitch him in Frisco instead of Albuquerque on Tuesday as a sign that three starts might be enough for Oswalt in the minor leagues. The original plan was for Oswalt to start four times, but making a move to keep him close to home (and dropping from Triple-A to Double-A) suggests the timeline could be speeding up.

That's just speculation. For all we know, the Rangers might have looked at all the injuries piling up on the mound and decided to keep Oswalt out of New Mexico to protect against the possibility of green chile getting into his eyes. Laugh away, but if you've ever experienced such pain then you know that Oswalt's comeback could end before it starts under such circumstances.

Kidding aside, if Oswalt looks good on Tuesday night then there will be questions about bringing him up to the Rangers instead of another rehab start. You've already lost Ogando from the bullpen and Robbie Ross could also be sacrificed to fill his spot in the rotation, leaving you thin at both the front and back end of the pitching staff.

In short, the Rangers have reached a point where they have to consider whether or not Oswalt's ability to help the team win now outweighs the possibility that one more minor league start will help him be a considerably better pitcher. There's a sound argument to be made in both directions, but only one of them might matter if that three-game divisional lead is smaller come the end of the week.

Related Topics Roy Oswalt, Rangers, Alexi Ogando
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