BOSTON – Roy Oswalt wasn’t going to comment on the events that transpired on Sunday in Kansas City.
Manager Ron Washington asked Oswalt if he could pitch a third inning of relief, but Oswalt said he couldn’t go any further.
A day later, Washington said he hadn’t talked with Oswalt about it and didn’t feel he needed to address it again.
Oswalt has expressed his desire to start and hasn’t been too happy by being moved to the bullpen. But the Rangers view Oswalt as a valuable piece in the bullpen at this point and have no intentions of that changing.
“We view Roy as a productive member of our 12-man staff and he’s pitching very well out of the bullpen,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “We always listen to requests made by players but the bottom line is what the team needs at the time and right now he is serving a very valuable role.”
The Rangers agreed to terms with Oswalt in late May and he made his debut on June 22. The expectation at the time, Levine said, was that Oswalt would be a member of the rotation.
Oswalt went 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in six starts and was pushed out of the rotation when the Rangers traded for Ryan Dempster.
“We’re in the midst of a pennant race unlike any we’ve seen in the last two years,” Levine said. “We feel as if every game counts and it’s our job to work with the coaching staff to try to put the best staff together we can to win the division. We don’t take it for granted that we’re going to be able just to do that, so we’re trying to be as competitive as we can be.”
Oswalt signed for a guaranteed $4 million with incentives that can push the deal to $5 million. The incentives are based on games started, but Levine didn’t know if that was the driving force behind Oswalt’s displeasure.
“I don’t want to say what is and what isn’t because I haven’t really had an opportunity to talk to Roy, but it hasn’t been addressed specifically,” Levine said.
Asked if Oswalt has asked for a trade, Levine said: “We’ve had internal discussions with him and he’s handled himself professionally in those conversations, but the exact nature of those we should keep in-house at this time.
“He’d like to start and he’s made no bones about that. Right now, there’s not an opportunity with our team do that but we do feel he’s playing a very valuable role.”
-- Drew Davison