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August 22, 2012

Roy Oswalt on making another spot start for Rangers

Roy Oswalt is returning to the Texas Rangers' rotation for another spot start, as he will take Yu Darvish’s place Thursday against Minnesota.

Oswalt will be working on regular four days’ rest after starting Saturday for Ryan Dempster in Toronto. But Oswalt didn’t know he’d be making the start until Tuesday night, and is still trying to figure out a routine in his new relief/spot starter role.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Oswalt said. “After I start, the next day I try to do as much as I can with my legs to flush them. Here, in this kind of situation, I didn’t really know what to do.

“You work out in between and kind of guess what you’re going to do. You’re kind of in limbo on what you’re supposed to do and I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve always had a set routine, so we’ll just shoot it from the hip and see how it goes.”

Oswalt threw 62 pitches Saturday, and was pulled after 4 2/3 innings, an out shy of qualifying for the victory. He allowed one run on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a game the Rangers went on to a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays.

Oswalt doesn’t know how many pitches he will be able to throw Thursday and still isn’t sure what to expect the rest of the season.

“I show up and they tell me I pitch here and pitch there, that’s all I do,” Oswalt said. “I don’t know what you want me to say. … They haven’t really explained what kind of role I’m in.”

Oswalt agreed to terms on a minor-league contract on May 29, and made his Rangers debut on June 22. He went 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in his first six starts, and was then moved to the bullpen when the Rangers acquired Dempster at the trade deadline.

For the season, Oswalt is 4-2 with a 6.04 ERA over 10 games, including seven starts, but said it's too early to judge his performance.

“It’s hard to judge [44 2/3 innings],” Oswalt said. “Just a matter of time before you get going. I’m not going to go out there and throw up a 1.00 ERA all year, but I have thrown up a 2.00. It’s just a matter of time before it comes along.”

Oswalt's best season, ERA-wise, was his rookie year in 2001 when he had a 2.73 ERA over 28 games, including 20 starts. In 2010, he posted a combined 2.76 ERA with Houston and Philadelphia. He went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA over 13 games, 12 starts, after being traded to the Phillies.

-- Drew Davison

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