Sunday, the recently demoted-to-the-bullpen Roy Oswalt pitched two innings of relief. He pitched brilliantly, too. But with the score tied 6-6 after eight innings, manager Ron Washington asked Oswalt for a third inning.
Oswalt declined to continue, reportedly saying he'd "had enough".
This didn't go over so well in the media, and Oswalt kept his counsel. Until Tuesday, when he talked to reporters. From MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:
Oswalt said that the reason why he told the Rangers he had pitched enough on Sunday was he had thrown over 200 pitches in less than a week. That’s why he told the Rangers he didn’t want to go out for a third inning on Sunday.
Oswalt threw 96 pitches in a start against the Angels on Monday. He said he also threw 50-60 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday in anticipation of his next start. But he was moved to the bullpen and made two appearances. He threw 24 pitches against the Angels on Thursday and 30 against the Royals on Sunday.
Oswalt also spoke to Ron Washington, and apparently this situation has been defused. But doesn't something still seem a little off? If Oswalt didn't want to throw more than 200 pitches in less than a week, shouldn't he have let someone know before he actually did that?
He's saying all the right things -- of course he wants to start, but he's also happy to pitch out of the bullpen if that's what the club needs -- but there seems to have been a communications breakdown here. Either way, I still feel compelled to mention that Oswalt's got a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio, and his 5.82 ERA should probably be taken with a grain of salt.