Philadelphia Phillies

With Roy Oswalt Injured Improving the Offense Became Even More Important

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 22: Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park on May 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rangers won 2-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIIJune 24, 2011

Roy Oswalt's been fighting lingering back issues all season long—he already spent some time on the disabled list earlier in the year with the same concerns.

After Oswalt left last night's game after the second inning, the timetable for his return is indefinite. 

The velocity on Oswalt's fastball has steadily dipped since his first stint on the DL, and he's a pitcher that likes to get his fastball up in the zone and blow it by hitters. 

Oswalt hasn't been able to do that lately—he's 1-5 with a 4.06 ERA in his previous eight starts.

The back really started to flare up on a road trip in Arizona in April. Before that, in his previous start at San Diego, his fastball routinely hit 93-94 mph.  

Last night, Oswalt consistently hit 90 mph on the radar gun.

He's had to rely more on command and changing speeds.

Before I was fine with a cheap option like Reed Johnson, but with Oswalt's future in question, I think it becomes more imperative that the Phillies find a way to add a bat at the trade deadline.

They need to take some pressure off the pitching staff, especially if Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick are going to remain starters for most—if not the rest—of the year.

Joe Blanton is expected back in late July or early August.

 

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