In the Rockpile: Roy Oswalt should unseat Jeff Francis


Colorado Rockies column banner: In the Rockpile -- Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt throws a pitch for the Tulsa Drillers.
Roy Oswalt is ready to make the jump from the Tulsa Drillers to the Colorado Rockies. (Rich Crimi)

Roy Oswalt has received the call and will be starting Thursday for the Colorado Rockies against the Washington Nationals. Oswalt had a 72-hour clause to be called up or released, and the Rockies quickly kept him under contract. The Rockies hope they can help themselves by infusing some older blood, a method they tried last season. This doesn’t have a Jamie Moyer feel at all, and Roy Oswalt is 35, while Moyer was approaching 50.

Moyer was a sideshow attraction: “Come See Jamie Moyer, Baseball’s Ageless Wonder.” Oswalt isn’t going to show up and throw a sub 85 mph fastball either.

Since signing with the team, Roy Oswalt has made minor-league starts, posting a 2.16 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .211 average. Recently named Texas League Pitcher of the Week, Oswalt is looking to continue that success against major-league hitters, who don’t happen to be double-A batters. His most recent start resulted in 8.1 shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.

An up-and-down rotation has taken hold this season, an improvement over last year, with everyone taking their losing lumps with the exception of Jorge De La Rosa and Tyler Chatwood. JDR has come back to form, and Chatwood has been an extraordinary help. Someone is going to have to be bumped with Roy Oswalt’s promotion, and Juan Nicasio may be that choice if the Rockies don’t part ways with Jeff Francis first, victimized by another loss (8-2) Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays

Francis has worn the losing hat for the Rockies this season and is easily their worst pitcher this season. Although Francis is the club’s winningest pitcher all-time, Oswalt is on deck and a surging Drew Pomeranz in Colorado Springs may bring an end to Francis’ career with Colorado.

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