Can Oswalt Save Us?

Everyone from the USA Today to Lyndy’s Sports is talking about Roy Oswalt and his debut tonight for the Rockies.  Getting national attention for a team not on ESPN’s daily radar (read: Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers) is usually attributed to either playing against one of their pet teams, making some sort of amazing surge when you shouldn’t have (see ’07) or the “Great Comeback” of once renowned players looking to stay in the spotlight.

The Rockies saw the attention, and spotlight, last season with the “Great Jamie Moyer Project”.  Taking on Moyer a year shy of his 50th birthday ultimately created more negative headlines for the Rockies (Giancarlo Stanton’s 462 foot HR that broke the fastest bat speed record for an HR as well as the outfield scoreboard) than anything positive press for the team.

Oswalt, another pitcher possibly sticking around past his prime, has seen his share of accolades. He was in the top six for six different Cy Young Award votes (sixth once, fifth once, fourth three times and third once), as well as a 20 game winner twice, 19 game winner once and his career win/loss record of 163-96 shows the Rockies are getting a guy that is comfortable playing to win.  He also owns a 3.28 career average over his 12 seasons that span the Astros, Blue Jays, Philies and Rangers.

By all accounts tonight’s call-up and start against the National’s isn’t a courtesy bone thrown to Oswalt, who pitched in five starts with the Tulsa Drillers this season, notching a 2.16 ERA in the process.  It seems like an actual effort to correct the pitching ship’s course that has found itself carelessly drifting towards the reef of mediocrity.  The team has placed Chris Volstad on waivers to open a 40-man roster spot and Jeff Francis has accepted a minor league assignment to the Springs, which clears a spot on the 25-man.

Whether this move will prove successful, depends on your definition of success.  Will the team jump on Oswalt’s back and ride him to the playoffs?  Doubtful.  But, knowing that a starting pitcher can really only influence a single game in five, there is something to be said for a team making a change for changes sake.  Replacing mistrust in one starter for cautious optimism from another can’t hurt, especially when the starter being replaced was firmly in the “easy out” column.  So, for a team that was just a 1/2 game out of first places last week, that is before running into the Toronto Sweeping Society disguised as the Blue Jay’s, bringing in Oswalt to take the ball tonight has all the makings of either a great move or wishful thinking. Whatever it is, we can bask in the glory of the national limelight for at least one night…in five.

ROCKIES LINEUP

NATIONALS LINEUP

2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B 2. Anthony Rendon (R) 2B
3. Carlos Gonzalez (L) LF 3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B
4. Michael Cuddyer (R) RF 4. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
5. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B 5. Jayson Werth (R) RF
6. Todd Helton (L) 1B 6. Ian Desmond (R) SS
7. Yorvit Torrealba (R) C 7. Steve Lombardozzi (S) LF
8. Jonathan Herrera (S) SS 8. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
9. Roy Oswalt (R) P 9. Jordan Zimmermann (R) P

FIRST PITCH: 5:05 pm

TV: Root  |   RADIO: Koa

WEATHER: 78° and Partly Cloudy

IN GAME CHAT

 

[quick-chat room=”ROXNATS62013″ height=”600″]

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egossage
egossage
7 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

My lineup with these guys would look like this:

1. Herrera SS
2. Colvin LF
3. Gonzalez CF
4. Cuddyer RF
5. Arenado 3B
6. Helton 1B
7. LeMahieu 2B
8. Torrealba C
9. Oswalt P

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago

I like the idea of having Francis go down to COS and maintain a bit of depth in case of an emergency, but why not waive him and create an opening in the 40-man roster? Do the Rox really think someone will actually claim Francis? If someone does, so what, that may not be the worst thing that could happen. If another team claims him they’ll be on the hook for his salary. I doubt that would happen.

Doc
Doc
7 years ago

Jeff’s a company man, Cisco, and will be rewarded for his allegiance. Besides, who do they want to add? The roster is full of players who could use a refresher course or two in CS–look at the easy list of possibilities they had to choose from when Francis drew the short straw. If they had anyone better, I’m sure they’d be here.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  Doc

Doc,

I believe you’re missing my point. So because Francis is a “company man”, let’s allow him to keep occupying a spot on the 40-man roster. That’s the problem with the way the Rox go about doing business, they aren’t pre-occupied with winning. But by golly let’s make sure we take care of the “company men” (example:Todd Helton).

Francis is guarateed his salary no matter what. Even if they remove him from the roster, his salary is guaranteed.

Doc
Doc
7 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

We’re on the same page, Cisco. My comment about “company man” was tongue-in-cheek, business as usual for DOD. My point about opening up a roster spot is why worry? There are so many potential candidates to remove, eliminating Jeff would only shine light on the dismal roster situation.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Oswalt looks ok so far but we’ll have to see if he can give us some innings. Of course if the Rockies don’t score it really doesn’t matter. I’ve missed games the past week and wasn’t following the Rocks as closely as usual but the loss of Fowler really hurts the team. We need him leading off. Colvin is good filling in here and there but since his quick start isn’t hitting. Either is Ruteledge and when Josh plays SS… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago

Classic Rockies bring out the welcoming mat for the new guy by forgetting to show up offensively.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Cisco, I didn’t see your comment at first. But I agree with you. Winning isn’t the most important thing with DoD and his boys. Francis is one example, Todd is another. And even EY, jr. When they finally cut the cord with him a few weeks ago Geivett was quoted as saying that it was the toughest thing he (or they) ever had to do because of what EY and his father had meant to the team. Nothing to do… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I heard last night that Justin Morneau may be available at the trading deadline. Do you think the Rox may have some interest in him? Of course not, beacuse nobody in the FO has the “cojones” to tell Helton he’s done and if he wants to stick around and collect the rest of his contract he’ll have to settle for PH duties and an occasional start. How would Morneau look in the middle of this lineup with Cargo,Tulo, Cuddy, &… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
7 years ago

Oswalt fits right in as a Rockie. Only 5 IP and 4 runs on 9 hits allowed.
Meanwhile the Rockies offense has no idea how to produce any offense. Fortunately we are on the road, so it looks like the pen will only have to cover 3 innings.

gary
gary
7 years ago

So Tulo haters-miss his MVP offense yet.And Dexter’s loss just when he had rebounded is almost as painful.But everyone repeat after me:they will hit,they will hit,Blake St. Bullies,they will hit.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago
Reply to  gary

Gary, the irony of your post is Tulo haters exist because Tulo is always injured. The question should really be turned on the Tulo lovers and asked “tired of this happening year after year, yet?”

Bill
Bill
7 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Prog: I’m not a Tulo hater but from what I hear most Tulo haters hate him because they don’t like his attitude, don’t like his “leadership” qualities, don’t like his poor hitting in the clutch rep., etc. etc. And of course his getting injured.

His injuries seem to be all different. We’re ticked about his injuries but why be pissed at him?

egossage
egossage
7 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

No I’m not tired of it yet. I’d rather have Tulo for 120 games than whoever else you want to put out there for 162 games.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago

I think most of those things are forgivable if you’re on the field. I don’t think anyone was on him all season for leadership or attitude. For me, I don’t hate him, but I hate over valuing a guy who isn’t playing enough to warrant us relying on him so heavily. I’m leaning towards if he gets healthy again and puts up big numbers trading him for a large haul of maybe less talented guys that if you get like… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Prog, you are not the lone ranger. I know some long time season ticket holders that are debating exactly what you said here.

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

I’ve mentioned some of the incredibly weak opposing lineups we’ve seen lately (Phillies for example on Sunday). But time to take a look in the mirror. What a pathetic lineup we’re putting out there now with Tulo and Dex out.

Julian
Julian
7 years ago

Agbayani, I agree with you. It would be great if we could get some production out of players like Colvin and Ruttledge. They’re batting averages are really taking a dive.

We’re used to seeing inflated batting averages at Colorado Springs, but at what point do we start taking Corey Dickerson seriously as an offensive player and as a player capable of playing in the major leagues and helping the Rockies. He’s hitting in the .380s.

GARY
GARY
7 years ago
Reply to  Julian

I think we play musical chairs until we find some one who can hit at least .250 on the road! Colvin had two good days and now its spring training all over again.Rutledge is all promise and no money shot.Since many here,including yours truly,sang the praises of Mr.300[Pacheco] he has had exactly three hits in two weeks.He has turned into another rally killer with the aforementioned duo.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago
Reply to  GARY

Lack of playing time will do that to you regarding Pacheco. Helton collects a couple of singles with no one on base here and there but when his offense is needed he looks bad. Rutledge, Colvin, Rosario. All good players that are really young and haven’t grown up into experienced hitters. I value Cuddyer now more than I ever did. Have to wonder whether he would be such a consumate professional if he grew up in the Rockies organization. We… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

Corey Dickerson: now officially intriguing. The PCL in general gives hitters inflated numbers, and Colorado Springs further inflates those numbers even relative to the PCL. But still: 1.075 OPS so far, and pretty good road numbers (937 OPS) too. Apparently he’s not considered a very strong outfielder so that hurts him. But if he keeps this up, who knows? Don’t forget about Ryan Wheeler either. .960 OPS last year (not in the Springs, but in the PCL still at altitude… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Didn’t the Rox fire their long time minor league roving hitting instructor this past off-season? I believe his name is Jim Johnson. Could this have had an effect system wide? No doubt he was replaced by some DOD crony. This organization is all about nepotism. Did anyone notice during the draft who was sitting next to Astacio at the MLB studios at the Rox table? It no other than the son of Dick Monfort. I’m sure he’s working his way… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago

Organizational and systematic futility in developing our players. There’s only so long you can use 1 guy (Tulowitzki) to say O’Dowd and his team aren’t the worst in the majors.

Every team has 1 guy to be proud of, its nothing remarkable.

Julian
Julian
7 years ago

Agbayani, what’s your feeling about Matthes in Tulsa? And what about Nina at Tulsa? Can we expect anything from McBride (superutility guy?)?

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

Nina is 24 and repeating AA, so that’s not a good sign. It is a good sign that he’s hitting a lot more the second time around. I haven’t seen him play, but I’ve never heard him mentioned as anything beyond a utility man type. Matthes has been yet another disappointment. His biggest issue is that he’s already 26 and still stuck in AA, where he’s not exactly dominating against younger players (823 OPS). I think it’s time to give… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago

To answer the question … yes

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