What has long been speculated was confirmed last night in St. Louis: Roy Oswalt had been playing injured. Since returning from the disabled list, the normally dominant Oswalt had been very shaky, watching his ERA steadily rise while his strikeouts were at career-low levels. Frankly, he was pitching like a Kyle Kendrick clone. Now he finds himself on the DL again.
With the soon-to-be 34-year-old facing the potential end to his season, it's time for the Phillies to mull the options on how to best replace him. For the time being, the rotation will consist of Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick in the back end. Joe Blanton may return from the DL at some point in the future to help stabilize the rotation, but that is off in the distance as he has yet to start throwing.
The Phillies face more problems than just trying replace an ace in the rotation. They face financial restraints as well. With a payroll already over $170 million, the Phillies are at the threshold of the luxury tax and ownership seems very reluctant to add significant salaries.