No date for Napoli return, Ogando ready to go
ARLINGTON, Texas – Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt told local reporters Tuesday he’s been aware he had cleared waivers for several weeks.
Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com reported earlier in the day that Oswalt cleared waivers and suggested the Dodgers as a potential trade partner.
Oswalt did not express desire to be traded, but he’s made no secret that he is not happy being in the bullpen. Oswalt (4-2, 5.94) made two spot starts recently but manager Ron Washington said there is no guarantee he will get another start the rest of the season.
“His role is long [relief],” Washington said.
As for Oswalt’s seemingly negative body language after being pulled from those spot starts – a subject of internet and talk show chatter – Washington said Oswalt’s attitude has not been an issue.
“He’s been a pro,” Washington said.
No signs of a return for Napoli
Catcher Mike Napoli has been eligible to return from the disabled list since Sunday, but so far he has not said his injured left quadriceps is healed.
“We’re going to go at his pace,” Washington said. “It’s his body, and he’s got to tell us how he feels. So far he’s been very honest.”
In the meantime, Washington said he’s been very pleased with the way Geovany Soto handles pitchers and how Soto has settled in as a hitter. Soto has hit .333 in his last eight games with a homer, two doubles and seven RBI.
Missed innings may help Ogando
Since missing more than a month with a groin strain, relief pitcher Alexi Ogando has looked much fresher than he did this time a year ago when he appeared to run out of gas. That should help Ogando down the stretch and in a likely post-season run.
“He’s not accumulating a ton of innings,” Washington said. “I think it will help.”
Ogando recorded two strikeouts in a perfect seventh inning in Monday’s win over Tampa Bay. The Rangers clocked Ogando’s fastball at 98 mph while another radar gun had him at 99.
“His slider is the key, the power slider,” Washington said. “It’s hard for hitters to differentiate it from the fastball.”
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire