The good news is that Roy Oswalt made his rehab start with Class A Clearwater Thursday night, and struck out five Palm Beach Cardinals. That’s about the only good news, though. About Oswalt, anyway. Matt Gelb:
Oswalt, pitching competitively for the first time in 16 days, lacked zip on his fastball. Ruiz said it was a struggle for Oswalt early without life and location on the fastball. One scout concurred, saying Oswalt hovered between 88 and 90 m.p.h. on the radar gun, topping out at 92. He typically averages 93 m.p.h.
Oswalt said nothing. He left the ballpark before speaking to reporters.
“It was a struggle in the first couple of innings,” Ruiz said.
The Phillies were hoping to slot Oswalt right into the rotation on regular rest for Tuesday’s series finale against St. Louis. That may be unrealistic without his usual fastball.
It’s too early to know when and where Oswalt will pitch next. The fact that he didn’t stick around after the game to talk about his outing isn’t a great sign, but maybe he just had dinner reservations at one of Clearwater’s many outstanding eateries. Or maybe he was busy plotting his revenge against whoever invented those #%$& radar guns.
Anyway, there was other good news from Clearwater, too. Carlos Ruiz played without incident, and Chase Utley hit, ran, and fielded with aplomb. Ruiz is due back immediately, Utley’s on track, and if Oswalt can average 89 now he can probably average 93 before long.
Oh, and the Phillies are 24-12.