The Sports Network reports the Houston Astros have placed starting pitcher Roy Oswalt (hip) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hip abductor. He underwent an MRI Saturday, July 19, and it confirmed to the hip injury as well as a minor, lingering herniated disc. The move is retroactive to July 12.
Oswalt has been struggling with the hip injury during the entire month of July. He tried to pitch Friday, July 11, but was only able to pitch one inning before leaving because of the injury. His herniated disc is not related to his current hip injury, according to general manager Ed Wade. Oswalt will now rest his hip and work in conditioning.
"His regimen will be rest and conditioning for the hip abductor," Wade said. "Talking to (athletic trainer) Dave Labossiere, (Oswalt is) going to probably do a couple of bullpens this coming week. After talking to him, we're still hopeful that he's going to be able to make his start on the 28th, which would be the first day that he'll be eligible to come off the list. Hopeful is the key word there. We won't know obviously. It will be dictated on how he feels."
He has not had a very good season to this point. He is 7-8 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 19 starts. He has struck out 94 batters and walked 28 in 116 1/3 innings this season. He has also allowed 18 home runs, which ties his career high. However, in June he had shown signs of turning things around with a 3-3 record, 2.97 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 39 K's in 39 1/3 innings.
He had a tremendous season last year, going 14-7 with 3.18 ERA in 32 starts and 33 appearances. He struck out 154 and walked 60 in 212 innings. He has been very consistent throughout his career, winning at least 10 games and posting an ERA under 3.50 each of the seven seasons.
From a fantasy perspective, Owsalt is having a down year but is still one of the better pitchers in the league. Owners should put in him on the disabled list if they have the room. If they do not have the room, he should be stashed on the bench because this should be a short-term injury.
In a corresponding move, the Astros recalled starting pitcher Runelvys Hernandez from Triple-A Round Rock. He is expected to start Monday, July 21. In three starts for the Astros this season, he is 0-3 with a 10.29 ERA and 2.36 WHIP. He has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 24 hits, including four home runs, in 14 innings. He is not worth picking up in any league because of his recent failures and lack of major league success.
The Astros will likely recall starting pitcher Jack Cassel from Round Rock to pitch Tuesday, July 22, replacing Oswalt. In 12 appearances, including 10 starts, in Triple-A, Cassel is 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA. He has struck out 32 batters and walked 13 batters in 65 2/3 innings. He too is not worth a pickup because of his struggles at the big-league level. In four games (two starts) this year, Cassel has allowed 10 earned runs and 18 hits (including three homers) in 14 1/3 innings.
Owners looking for a short-term replacement for Oswalt should look outside the organization.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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