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Boston Red Sox: Why They're Better off Passing on Roy Oswalt

Brian RoachCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2012

Boston Red Sox: Why They're Better off Passing on Roy Oswalt

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    After shipping off Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, the Boston Red Sox now have an extra $6 million to work with and may have enough money to sign talented veteran pitcher Roy Oswalt.

    However, Oswalt is asking for $8 million for one year, but who knows how close the Red Sox really are to the luxury tax threshold? There are better ways to use that $6 million than to use it on an old pitcher that has not pitched well against the AL East in his career and also has not been very good at striking out batters recently.

Career Against Yankees/AL East

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    Roy Oswalt has one career start against the New York Yankees in his career. It may be only one start, but back in 2008 with the Houston Astros, he lasted 5.2 innings and allowed seven runs. Only three of them were earned, but he got the loss.

    Never really facing the Yankees is a big concern with the Boston Red Sox, as he will likely see the Yankees three, maybe four times a season.

    Oswalt also faced the Tampa Bay Rays that year. This time he lasted 7.2 innings and allowed only two runs. He won this game but only struck out five batters.

Age

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    Roy Oswalt is heading into the latter half of his career and will be turning 35 in August 2012. This is the time that veteran pitchers start to lose their velocity and have to actually know how to pitch effectively.

    Now I am not saying Oswalt can't do that, but the Boston Red Sox need to be cautious with Oswalt if and when they do sign him to a deal in the near future.

    Oswalt looked old last year and has been used as a fourth starter with the Philadelphia Phillies, but hopefully he is able to use his veteran wisdom to his advantage.

2011 Struggles

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    The Boston Red Sox especially need to be cautious when it comes to recent failure, as Roy Oswalt went 9-10 in 2011 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts.

    Oswalt also only had 93 strikeouts in 139 innings pitched. He also had a whip of 1.34, which was a career high.

    His 2011 was the worst season in recent years where he struggled pitching, but maybe 2012 could be a great year for him?

Recent Injuries

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    The Boston Red Sox need every starting pitcher to remain healthy, and Roy Oswalt may not be able to do that in 2012.

    Oswalt missed a couple months with back issues with the Phillies and that cost him a huge contract in 2012. He started great in 2011 but had to leave the team for family issues, and then it was discovered that there was something wrong with his back.

    The Red Sox need to make sure they are careful when they do his physical that they make sure his back is fully healthy before they sign him.

Playoffs

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    The playoffs did not come much for Roy Oswalt with the Houston Astros. The last time they made it was 2005. However, with the Philadelphia Phillies, he made it in 2010 and 2011.

    Oswalt has made only four starts combined in those two postseason outings and is 1-2 with an ERA of about 4.00. His one start in 2011 went horribly wrong as he lasted six innings but allowed five earned runs and was given the loss.

    The Boston Red Sox need Oswalt to pitch well in the postseason, especially in the later rounds when teams usually use a fourth starter. If he can't pitch even halfway decent in the playoffs, then the Red Sox need to look somewhere else.

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