Oswalt to make Rockies debut Thursday
Ryan Summerlin June 18, 2013
TORONTO — Veteran pitcher Roy Oswalt will start for the Rockies on Thursday in Washington, manager Walt Weiss said, as Colorado looks to provide a boost to its rotation and ease the burden on the bullpen.
“He’s a nice piece to add at this point,” Weiss said Tuesday. “He always competes.”
By choice, Oswalt, 35, made five starts for Double-A Tulsa, strengthening his arm and working on his command. He is one of the most accomplished pitchers to join the Rockies, though questions remain on how much he has left after his unsuccessful stint with the Texas Rangers last season.
“He’s done everything in this game,” Weiss said. “He’s been an ace before. He is used to this. But we don’t want him to make more of this than it is.”
The Rockies have not decided on the move to clear a roster spot. For now, Oswalt will bump Tyler Chatwood to Friday, Jhoulys Chacin to Saturday, with Jorge De La Rosa, who allowed just one hit in seven innings in his last outing, moving to Sunday.
The pitchers were told of the schedule change on Monday before the series opener against the Jays.
Oswalt owns a career record of 163-98 with a 3.28 ERA. He has finished in the top six in the National League Cy Young voting six times. He went just 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA for the Rangers, admitting that he rushed to the big leagues before his arm was ready. Yorvit Torrealba caught Oswalt in Texas and believes the veteran can help.
“He wasn’t hurt. He had good velocity. He knows how to pitch,” Torrealba said.
Oswalt impressed teammates with his work ethic and preparation in Double-A. He arrived early at the ballpark, lockered with the minor leaguers and even charted pitches from the stands before his starts.
The Rockies have several avenues to create a roster spot, optioning a long reliever like Manny Corpas or Rob Scahill, sending struggling right-hander Wilton Lopez to Triple-A or even putting Juan Nicasio in Colorado Springs to work on his slider and changeup.
Oswalt had an out in his contract Tuesday, allowing him to become a free agent if not called up within 72 hours.
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