The latest from around MLB...
- Roy Oswalt's protracted free agency is over, as the righty signed yesterday with the Texas Rangers for $5 million over the rest of the season, plus $1 million in incentives. The Rangers were eager to add another arm after Neftali Feliz went down, and they'll hope that the 34-year-old can get back into form in short order. Oswalt has been working out in Mississippi, but most believe he won't be ready to pitch in big league games for a few weeks. As for the signing, some - like Scott Miller, who first reported the deal - think it's a good fit for both sides. Others, like Jon Heyman, think Oswalt might struggle with the Rangers. Either way, most reports agree that Oswalt took less money to sign with the Rangers, partly because of the geographic proximity to his home, and partly because of the relative awesomeness of the team.
- Roy Halladay miss six to eight weeks with a strained latissimus dorsi (back muscle, kind of below the shoulder), which could keep him out until late July or August. Halladay's numbers are down this year (for him, anyway), and he lasted just two innings in his final start before hitting the disabled list. The Phillies are already without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, neither of whom have played all year, as well as Vance Worley, who will be back soon from elbow soreness.
- Jered Weaver also hit the disabled list with a back problem. He experienced lower back pain in his most recent start, and was pulled early after showing obvious signs of discomfort. Recovery from back issues is notoriously hard to predict, so it's impossible to say quite yet how quickly Weaver will be able to return. Garrett Richards will take his spot in the rotation for now.
- Weaver's Angels are doing well right now, though, having just won their 8th in a row. Thanks to their rough start, that puts them just a game over .500, and still 5.5 games behind the Rangers in the NL West.
- Also just a game over .500? The Boston Red Sox, finally, after spending the first two months of the season on the wrong side of that mark.
- MLB is kicking around the idea of a centrally-located review team that would watch all games, and on calls that are "clearly wrong," the team would signal the umpires in the at-issue game, informing them of the correct call, and instructing them to fix it. The system could be implemented as soon as 2013, with limited plays eligible for review (fair/foul, home runs, caught/not caught), and then expanding from there in future seasons.
- Former big league pitcher Bobby Ojeda wrote a touching, funny, illuminating piece for the New York Times about his experience growing up as a pitcher, and then doing what it took to stick in the big leagues. It's a pretty frightening tale, actually, and makes you wonder what pitchers might be dealing with on a daily basis.
- Barry Bonds wants to rejoin the San Francisco Giants as an instructor. If Mark McGwire can become a hitting coach, why can't Bonds become an instructor, right?