On May 2, the Colorado Rockies agreed to a minor-league deal with three-time All-Star pitcher Roy Oswalt. On May 24, Oswalt made his debut in the Rockies organization by taking the mound for Double-A Tulsa.
Starting against Midland, Oswalt gave up three runs on four hits in five innings pitched. He walked three, struck out three, and surrendered two solo home runs during his 73-pitch outing. He took the loss.
The 35-year-old Oswalt has a career record of 163-96. He’s also 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA at Coors Field.
After his first start with Tulsa, Oswalt talked about his outing.
How did you feel about your performance tonight?
Oswalt: The biggest thing was that my mechanics were off. When I left (extended spring training), I felt like my mechanics were in place. I felt good in the bullpen before the game but I tried to create a little too much once I got out there. The three walks that I gave up tonight bothered me more than the home runs. When you can’t pitch with your fastball, your other stuff won’t be that good.
What did you think about your velocity?
Oswalt: I looked back at the scoreboard once or twice and saw 90. I felt like I was close to 94 and that’s where I usually am.
Where do you feel you are this year compared to last season?
Oswalt: Last year, I came in halfway through the season with the Rangers. This year, I feel like I am ahead of that schedule. After a couple of more starts, we’ll see where I am.
What do you need to work on before your next start?
Oswalt: I want to work on my fastball command. When you get that, your other pitches open up. Overall, it was OK for my first start. I wouldn’t say it was my best, but I wouldn’t say it was my worst either.
Talk about being back in the minor leagues
Oswalt: There is a little different approach in the minor leagues. There are more free swingers here and they don’t work the count well. I couldn’t get my fastball where I wanted it, so I felt like I was working backwards with my pitches.
What were the pitches that they hit for home runs?
Oswalt: One of the home runs came off a curveball. I wanted it down and away but it wasn’t down enough. The other home run was a broken bat on a fastball that drifted on me.
The last time you were in the Texas League was in 2000. What do you remember about that season?
Oswalt: That was a great year. It really started my career. The next season, I was in the big leagues.
What has attracted the Rockies to you?
Oswalt: I’ve always pitched well there (Coors Field). The team needed some starting pitching and I thought I could help.