Saturday, January 20, 2018
Sports

Oswalt's refusal is non-issue, Rangers say

BOSTON — Rangers manager Ron Washington insisted Monday he has put behind him RHP Roy Oswalt's decision not to pitch a third inning of relief Sunday and sees no need to discuss it with the former starter.

Assistant GM Thad Levine added Oswalt is "playing a very valuable role" coming out of the bullpen. He has pitched four scoreless innings in two appearances.

Oswalt told Washington after throwing 30 pitches in the seventh and eighth innings Sunday that he couldn't continue. The AL West leaders lost 7-6 in 10 innings at Kansas City. Oswalt, 34, in his 12th season in the majors, declined to comment Monday.

"Since I've been here (if) a player tells me he can't go, that's it," Washington said before Monday's game. "It ends right there and, for me, it ended right there."

Oswalt had a 6.49 ERA in six starts then went to the bullpen when Texas acquired RHP Ryan Dempster from the Cubs last Tuesday. Oswalt had thrown 150 pitches in seven days when he told Washington he couldn't pitch.

Since reaching the majors in 2001 with Houston, Oswalt has started 326 of his 339 games.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: Red Sox owner John Henry backed Bobby Valentine, whose first season as manager has seen Boston hover around .500. Henry said management is not making a managerial change, and he cited numerous injuries as one reason for the team's struggles.

In an email to reporters, Henry said that it is "simply wrong" to blame Valentine for the team's troubles and "we all" share responsibility. He said there has been no lack of effort by players.

HELTON DONE: The Rockies said veteran 1B Todd Helton will have arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, ending his season. A career .320 hitter, Helton, 38, batted .238 this season, by far the worst of his 15-year career. He had seven homers and 37 RBIs.

SANTANA ON TRACK: Mets LHP Johan Santana, on the disabled list since July 20 with a sprained right ankle and shoulder fatigue, came through Sunday's rehab outing at Class A Brooklyn with no problems and is scheduled to return to the major-league rotation on Saturday.

THOME OUT FOR MONTH: Orioles DH Jim Thome is unlikely to return before September because of a herniated disc. Thome has been on the disabled list since Tuesday.

CUBS: Former Rays RHP Matt Garza returned to Chicago for an examination and is likely headed for the 15-day disabled list. Garza has not pitched since July 21, when he suffered a cramp in his right triceps.

D'BACKS: With backup C Henry Blanco out with a thumb injury, the club claimed C Wil Nieves off waivers after the Rockies designated him for assignment.

DODGERS: OF Tony Gwynn Jr., son of the Hall of Famer, was designated for assignment.

GIANTS: LH reliever Jose Mijares, who has a 2.56 ERA in 39 innings with the Royals, was claimed off waivers.

INDIANS: RHP Juan Nivar, 19, of the Dominican Summer League Indians was suspended for 50 games after a positive test under the minor-league drug program.

NATIONALS: Former Gold Glove-winning SS Cesar Izturis was claimed off waivers from the Brewers.

WHITE SOX: LHP John Danks had left shoulder surgery, and the team said he should be ready for the start of spring training. Doctors repaired a capsule tear and removed debris in the rotator cuff and biceps.

YANKEES: Minor-league LHP Manny Banuelos, 21, one of the team's top prospects who was limited to six starts this year because of an elbow injury, was shut down for the season.

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