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FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports starting pitcher Roy Oswalt threw a side session for the Philadelphia Phillies last week and the Boston Red Sox sometime earlier this week. The right-hander will also showcase for two more teams. The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers aren't interested.
He wants to pitch for a competitor and seems willing to situate farther than originally expected from his Mississippi home. Per Rosenthal, Oswalt plans to sign soon and could be pitching in the bigs in mid- to late June.
He'll turn 35 in August, so that timeline might be optimistic, but fantasy owners would be thankful for Oswalt's reappearance, especially if their deep-league pitching staffs can't catch a break. The bulldog will need time to get back in shape, and the control-based arm might experience faulty location out of the gate while he shakes off rust.
His mid-30s age and reports of two degenerative discs in his lower back comprise a risky combo that doesn't yearn for a strong investment, but Oswalt's period of rest might be enough at least to circumvent the latter. After emerging from his summer 2011 DL stint, he fanned 6.78 per nine frames from Aug. 7 on, an average of nearly one more than that of his first two months of action (which were still quite good) and dwarfing the 4.44 in his injury-afflicted June. Similar and sustained optimism for inducing K's can be expected with a fresher body.
His long recent track record doesn't yield the same grounder-slanted batted-ball profile of fellow undersized warrior Tim Hudson, but Oswalt has teased such dirt-denting inducement in the past. Expect the righty to produce similar prorated results, a touch below what Huddy offers. Landing on an NL squad would brighten his outlook, but he has pitched in hitter-friendly environments throughout his career and has enough guile to adjust.
Stash Oswalt if he's still floating on your waiver wire. In most games, he'll likely warrant merely a backend investment but can deliver high-caliber results. Of course, considering how much sand has already fallen through the fantasy hourglass, his cost could inflate.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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