May 292012
 

Texas Rangers, Scott Feldman, can breath easy—Wizard of Os is on the wayThe Texas Rangers have signed former Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt for a reported amount in the $5.5 million dollar range.

What with a rash of recent injuries to multiple team’s top-of-the-rotation studs—Roy Halladay, and Jered Weaver—the signing sends a ripple through the ranks of Major League Baseball.

In other words, simply by signing the diminutive Mississippian right-hander, the Rangers have prevented chief-rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of that city that houses Disneyland and little else, from scooping him up.

Take that suckas!

The only down side to the great gift of Roy Oswalt pitching for the two-time defending AL Champions is that it can’t be opened for a few more weeks.

It’s basically a layaway gift; an excellent insurance policy should Scott Feldman continue to falter in his temporary role as Rangers’ fifth starter.

For the Texas Rangers (31-18) to win their fifth-straight game tonight it will be all about how Feldman fares in his third start of the season—his second consecutive start against the AL West’s bottom dwelling Seattle Mariners (21-30).

Even though “Scooter” lacked command against the Mariners a week ago, he still pitched well enough to earn the win, save for one ill-fated pitch.

Feldman grooved a sinker to Alex Liddi with the bases loaded and the young Italian prospect didn’t miss it. After the grand slam, the day was done for the Hawaiian-born right-hander.

In life, rare are the occasions when we’re afforded second chances; and tonight Feldman will get a shot at hardball atonement.

Alex Liddi is batting .800 (4-for-5) versus Feldman, with a double, and 4 RBI thanks to that bases-loaded four-bagger. Justin Smoak (.400, 1 HR), John Jasso (.500) and Ichiro Suzuki (.286) are also hurdles that Feldman must jump for a successful second stab at Seattle.

But you know what? Even if Feldman fails to harness his control and leaves a sinker hanging once again, denizens of Rangers Nation can all rest assured that help is on the way.

Thank you Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan et al!

Roy Oswalt, the 34-year-old major league veteran of 11 seasons was plucked from free agent purgatory this afternoon and should be ready to pitch in his first big league game of 2012 in the next four weeks.

The immediate impact of the “Wizard of Os” following his yellow brick (cold hard cash-tinged) road down to Arlington is multi-faceted.

Oswalt in the Rangers rotation means:

• Neftali Feliz will not be rushed back; he can take his time getting his elbow back up to snuff.

• Scott Feldman can go back to being the spot-starter/long man; a role that he has excelled at over the last couple of seasons.

• Should Feliz return to 100% and there are no unforeseen injuries in the rotation, the Rangers may choose to place Feliz in the bullpen for the playoff run, similar to how they handled Alexi Ogando last season.

• A healthy Oswalt is a true number one, which gives the Rangers the ace they’ve so coveted since Cliff Lee’s departure via free agency following the 2010 season.

• In short, with the addition of Roy Oswalt, the Rangers have unprecedented pitching depth to match their deep and versatile lineup.

Game two of this three-game series between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners is scheduled for a 7:05 first pitch.

Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.68 ERA 1.40 WHIP, 3.7 K/9) opposes Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.58, 1.02 WHIP, 6 K/9)

Go Rangers!

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