Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. announced earlier today that starting pitcher Roy Oswalt would be taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. Although Oswalt's reasons were originally unknown, Amaro released to the public that this is due to a tornado that struck Mississippi near his hometown of Weir.
According to an article published by ESPN less than an hour ago, before last night's start against the Arizona Diamondbacks—where he gave up five runs on six hits in just three innings with no strikeouts and picked up the loss—Oswalt received a phone call in the dugout. He was involved in the phone call for quite some time, and even manager Charlie Manuel commented after the game that something "just wasn't right" about Oswalt.
In the statement released by Amaro, he stated that Oswalt's timetable for return is "day-to-day" at this point, and that he has taken time off to make sure that the family situation is okay—primarily his wife and kids.
Oswalt's parents live a mile away from him in Weir. His childhood home was destroyed by a tornado last year around this same time.
The whole house was razed, and almost all was lost—including Oswalt's high school portrait and his 2005 NLCS MVP award, which he had given to his parents. All that was left was a Bible and his parents' pet Yorkie, Sweetie, who survived with Oswalt's mother in a closet. His father was away on a hunting trip at the time.
Ironically, the bulldozer Oswalt asked for and received for winning his starts in the NLCS that year was used to clean up the rubble from that twister.
Hopefully, Oswalt's family and home is okay. While Phillies fans hope he makes it back in time for his next start, let's all remember that what's more important is that everything goes all right for Oswalt.