OAKLAND, Calif. — A day after Scott Feldman's disastrous start, there was “mention” among the Rangers braintrust of accelerating Roy Oswalt's progress, but it was quickly dismissed, manager Ron Washington said Tuesday.
“It was mentioned — what about accelerating Oswalt? — and that was quickly cut down,” Washington said.
Washington said the Rangers decided that they didn’t want compromise Oswalt’s preparation, so it was not worth speeding up his work in the minors to get him to the Rangers rotation a few days or a week early. He is expected to be ready around June 20.
“There was mention of him accelerating, but we don’t want that,” Washington said. “We want Oswalt to get ready. That’s a quality pitcher. When he gets here we want quality outings. We don’t want him to feel his way or be on a pitch count.
“We want him to come out and be Oswalt. We want to make sure, so we’re going to give him what he needs.”
Oswalt, who signed last week with the Rangers, pitched two innings in his first outing at Triple-A Round Rock. He told the Rangers he could have pitched five, but Washington said the team has not been moved to get him to the majors any quicker than the plan.
Although Oswalt has been ruled out for Saturday’s game, which would be Feldman’s next turn, Washington did not exactly give Feldman a hearty endorsement. He conceded that there were discussions of alternatives.
“The options that were mentioned, I was sworn to keep my lips sealed,” Washington said.
For now, Feldman remains the scheduled pitcher, despite giving up eight runs in 1 2/3 innings Monday night.
Left-hander Robbie Ross was mentioned, Washington said, but “he’s an important part of our bullpen and it would be a void to remove him.” Ross, the only lefty in the bullpen, has allowed one earned run in his last 16 1/3 innings.
Washington said that Martin Perez is not a candidate to start at the moment. The Rangers’ top pitching prospect, Perez has been hit hard in the past three weeks.
* Five Rangers — Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli — were in the lead for All-Star starting spots when the first results were released Tuesday. The Rangers are hoping to have a nice representation in the game for symbolic reasons, but also because they’ll have a big role in determining home-field advantage for the World Series.
The Rangers have lost the World Series two years in a row, starting both years on the road because the AL lost the All-Star Game in 2010 and 2011.
“It’s pretty important,” Beltre said. “That might be a key why we didn’t win, even though it was one of us that screwed it up.”
* Outfielder Craig Gentry reported no arm problems a day after he pitched an inning of mop-up duty at the end of the Rangers’ 12-1 loss Monday. He said he got a nice response from his friends and family after his performance.
“Everyone was wondering why I didn’t throw harder or throw off-speed stuff,” he said. “I didn’t want to get hurt. I was happy I only walked one guy.”
Told that his ERA now will read 18.00, Gentry said: “Maybe I can get another appearance to try to get it under 10.”
* A scoring change from Saturday’s game in Anaheim added an earned run to Yu Darvish’s total. Napoli’s dropped popup was changed to a double for Albert Pujols. The Rangers are waiting for the play to be reviewed by MLB officials. Napoli, who was playing first, said it should have been an error.