2012 has not been kind to Rangers righthander Roy Oswalt.
First, he sat at home in Mississippi, waiting for offers from teams he considered close enough to his home. The Boston Red Sox were interested, but that was too far; other teams he was interested in weren't interested in him.
Finally, the Texas Rangers had enough pitching injuries that they contacted Oswalt. He made four minor-league starts and then joined the major-league squad. He posted three decent starts and three bad ones; after the Angels hit him hard July 30 in Arlington, the Rangers sent him to the bullpen.
He made his second relief appearance Sunday, going two innings. It was when manager Ron Washington asked him to go a third inning that trouble began. T. R. Sullivan:
The Rangers wanted Oswalt to keep pitching. He declined to do so.
"He said he couldn't go any further," manager Ron Washington said. "He said he had enough."
Oswalt was moved to the bullpen after six starts when the Rangers acquired Ryan Dempster from the Cubs on Tuesday. Oswalt made it clear to the Rangers that he didn't want to pitch in relief. The Rangers still made the decision because Scott Feldman had won six straight while Oswalt was 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in his six starts.
Oswalt was not available after the game to discuss his situation. The Rangers open a three-game series with the Red Sox on Monday in Boston. What happens next will be up to Oswalt, or general manager Jon Daniels may have to resolve the issue.
It doesn't sound promising for the Oswalt/Rangers marriage, which didn't seem to have a solid base to begin with. Oswalt turns 35 later this month; it could be that his career will have a not-so-pleasant ending.