08/07/12 7:11 PM ET
Oswalt still learning ropes of life in bullpen
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Oswalt met with manager Ron Washington on Tuesday to discuss what happened on Sunday and also explained his situation with reporters before the Rangers' game with the Red Sox.
Oswalt said he threw 96 pitches in a start against the Angels on July 30. He then threw 50-60 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday in anticipation of starting on Sunday. Instead, the Rangers moved him to the bullpen.
The veteran made his first relief appearance against the Angels on Thursday, throwing 24 pitches in two innings. He threw 30 pitches over two innings against the Royals on Sunday and then said "that was probably enough" when asked if he could keep pitching in a tie game.
"Now you're talking about being in the 200-pitch range in a week," Oswalt said. "There's not many pitchers that do that. Another one or two innings and you're talking about being around 250 pitches.
"That's when they asked me and I said I probably had enough. I'm trying to do my role. I've never done this before and I'm still learning. I just want to try and do my role and stay healthy."
Oswalt said he still wants to be a starter, but he is willing to accept the bullpen role right now and pitch whenever the Rangers need him.
"I'm down there until they say something else," Oswalt said. "I still consider myself a starter. If you asked anybody who has been starting for 10-12 years, they wouldn't be happy with moving to the bullpen. If they were, they're not competitors. But I'm in the bullpen, I'll throw down there and see how it goes."
Oswalt said Sunday's misunderstanding most likely came from the Rangers not accounting for the number of pitches he threw during his bullpen session last Wednesday.
"That's a very fair statement," Washington said.
Of his meeting, Washington said, "We had a chance to clear the air. It wasn't like we had to clear the air of something negative. We just had to clear the air of what we said and we moved on."
Oswalt said he has not asked the Rangers to trade him to a team that would allow him to start.
"I haven't said anything like that," Oswalt said.
Young knows walks are down this season
BOSTON -- Michael Young drew his 17th walk of the season on July 6 from Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano. One month later he is up to 18 walks.
That leaves him with a rate of one walk for every 24.89 plate appearances, the sixth highest in the American League. White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez has one walk for every 42.40 plate appearances. Last year, Young walked once every 14.66 plate appearances. In 2005, when he won the AL batting title, he walked once every 12.62 appearances.
"I would like for my walk totals to be higher and I expect they will be," Young said. "The biggest thing is to focus on the strike zone and make good contact, But it's something I pay attention to and I expect it will get better."
Young is still tough to strike out. He has one strikeout for every 9.33 plate appearances, which is the fourth best in the AL, but he also averages just 3.44 pitches per at-bat, the fourth lowest in the league.
"I don't think I'm chasing bad pitches," Young said. "One thing is I don't hit many foul balls. When I swing, I usually put it in play. You don't have to foul off a lot of pitches to have good at-bats. You just want to see as many pitches as possible to get a good pitch to hit."
The club record for highest rate of plate appearances per walk was set by Mickey Rivers in 1980. He had a walk once every 33.05 plate appearances. He also hit .333 that year. Young's current rate is the fifth highest in Rangers history.
Despite off-day, Washington not skipping starters
BOSTON -- The Rangers have a day off on Thursday and manager Ron Washington said they will not use it to skip any starters in the rotation. The club won't have another day off until Aug. 30 and have just four left in the final two months of the season.
"Right now everybody is going to stay on turn," Washington said.
Washington said he also doesn't see any pitchers who need extra rest. The Rangers did that with Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando late last season.
"I don't see any fatigue," Washington said. "They might be making a bad pitch here or there, but I don't see any fatigue."
Washington said there has been some light discussion about giving Yu Darvish time off to work on his mechanics, but right now Washington doesn't see that happening.
"Where we are in the season, we aren't in a position to experiment and give a guy time off," Washington said. "We're trying to win a pennant. You back one guy down and you put pressure on everybody else. You have to consider what it would do to everybody else's load and we want everybody to carry their load."
Darvish allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Red Sox on Monday night. Afterward, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Darvish didn't look the same as he did in Japan and didn't look right and his pitches were flat.
"I thought his hitters were pretty good," said Washington. "If he thought Darvish's pitches were flat, it's on him, it's not on me."
After scoreless outing, Lowe could return Friday
BOSTON -- Mark Lowe pitched a scoreless inning in relief on Monday night for Triple-A Round Rock, striking out two of three batters that he faced. Lowe is scheduled to pitch again on Tuesday night.
If that goes well, he could be activated on Friday when the Rangers return home to face the Tigers. Lowe has been on the disabled list since June 26 with a strained intercostal muscle in his right rib cage. He has pitched in 26 games for the Rangers with a 2.30 ERA while holding opponents to a .198 batting average.
Koji Uehara remains limited to flat ground throwing while dealing with a strained lat muscle in his right rib cage. The Rangers are hoping that the medical staff will clear him to throw off a mound this weekend. Uehara has been on the disabled list since June 10.
Elvis Andrus was back in the lineup on Tuesday after missing a game with a sore right shoulder.
Third baseman Mike Olt, who is from Connecticut, has been getting much media attention since the Rangers arrived in Boston. He was born in New Haven, Conn., and went to the University of Connecticut.
Adrian Beltre hit his 19th home run on Monday. He needs one more to become the ninth third baseman in Major League history to have at least 10 seasons with 20-plus home runs.
Darvish struck out nine batters and gave up seven doubles on Monday night. Only two pitchers have given up at least that many doubles and struck out that many hitters in a game. Hall of Famer Lefty Grove did it with the Athletics against the Yankees on May 30, 1927, and Red Sox pitcher Joe Dobson did it against the A's on April 19, 1948.
The Rangers have just scattered singles and obstructed view tickets left for Friday and Saturday against the Tigers. Approximately 3,500 reserve seats are left for Sunday.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.