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August 04, 2012

Saturday's Rangers notes: Roy Oswalt on his bullpen role

Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley is one of several pitchers who began their careers as starters and then went on to become successful relievers. Kerry Wood is another example.

Roy Oswalt, though, has no interest in reinventing himself as a reliever.

"I'm a starter," Oswalt said. "I'm not really a bullpen guy."

For now, Oswalt is a bullpen guy. He was moved into that role once the Rangers traded for Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. The team opted to keep Scott Feldman in the rotation, as he has won five consecutive decisions.

Oswalt, meanwhile, went 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in six starts since making his debut June 22. The Rangers went 4-2 in Oswalt's starts, although he gave up double-digit hits in three of them.

Does Oswalt feel the six starts were a fair window to be judged?

"Well, I mean we're 4-2 in the games I started. I guess I should've been 6-0," Oswalt said. "Two bad ones and won four of them so ... I don't know. We'll see how it goes."

Was he OK with the decision?

"It wasn't my decision," he said. "I'm down there to throw when they need me, I guess." 

Oswalt made his first relief appearance of the season Thursday against the Angels, throwing two scoreless innings. He remains in the bullpen even though that isn't his preferred role.

"I don't know how long it's going to last," Oswalt said. "I don't know what their plans are."

Here are a few other notes:

* Mark Lowe, on the disabled list with a right intercostal (rib) strain, doesn't know what the next step will be for him. He plans on playing long toss today, but hasn't been informed when or if he will make another rehab assignment.

* Joe Nathan welcomed a day off on Friday and could be out of action again today, but manager Ron Washington wasn't ready to reveal his plan for Nathan. Nathan admitted he could use one more day after throwing 62 pitches combined on Wednesday and Thursday. 

* Catcher Mike Napoli returns to the lineup tonight after having two days off. He is expected to start on Sunday, too.

-- Drew Davison

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