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RON WASHINGTON SAYS OSWALT’S ISSUE IS OVERCOME
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington insisted he’s put behind him Roy Oswalt’s decision to pitch a 3rd inning of relief and sees no necessity to discuss it with the former starter.

Assistant GM Thad Levine added Oswalt is ”playing a very valuable role” leaving the bullpen, throwing 4 scoreless innings in 2 appearances.

Oswalt told Washington after throwing 30 pitches in the 7th and 8th innings on Sunday that he couldn’t continue. The American League West leaders lost 7-6 in 10 innings at Kansas City. The right-hander declined to comment before Monday night’s opener of a 3-game series against the Red Sox.

”Since I have been here (if) a player informs me he can’t go, that’s it,” Washington recounted before the game. ”It ends right there and, for me, it ended right there.”

Oswalt had a 6.49 ERA in 6 starts then went to the bullpen when Texas bought Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs. Oswalt had thrown 150 pitches in 7 days when he told Washington he could not pitch.

Since reaching the majors in 2001 with Houston, Oswalt has started 326 of his 339 games. His record was 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA before he agreed a minor league contract as a free agent with Texas on May 29. In his 1st begin with the Rangers, he allowed one earned run in 6 2-3 innings against Colorado on June 22, bit his performances as a starter declined since that point.

Washington recounted that on Sun., ”we asked him if he could go back out. He said that he was thru so I went to Robbie Ross. I think managers do that all of the time. I’m no different.” Baseball scores

Asked if the club was upset that Oswalt would not continue, Levine declared, ”I assume the thought process was that if the game went deep we might have liked him to have eaten 1 or 2 more innings there. But what he was able of delivering and what we got from the guys who came behind him, I believe we believed that we had enough to win the game.”

He announced Oswalt wants to start and that the assumption when he was acquired was that he would do that.

”Right now he’s pitching awfully well out of the bullpen. We mostly listen to requests made by players but,” Levine said, ”the concern is what the team needs at the time and right now he’s serving a very valuable role.

”We’re in the midst of a pennant race unlike any that we’ve seen in the last 2 years where we feel as if every game counts,” he claimed.

”So it’s our job to work with the coaching staff to try and put the best staff together we can to try to win this division.”

Levine was uncommitted when questioned if Oswalt had requested an exchange.

”We’ve had internal talks with him and he’s handled himself professionally in those talks,” Levine announced, ”but the exact nature of those I think we should keep in house at this time. … He’s a productive member of the 12-man staff. We don’t expect that to change.”


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