Phils’ Oswalt Leaves Team To Check On Family’s Safety

Phillies righthander pitcher Roy Oswalt has briefly left the team for personal reasons. He’s returned home to Mississippi to check on his family after a series of tornadoes struck the area several days ago. Three major storms rampaged through central Mississippi last weekend causing widespread destruction and at least three deaths. Assuming all is well, Oswalt is hoping to rejoin the team in time for his next scheduled start though the Phillies have made clear that there’s no specific timetable for when they expect him back in the lineup.

Philadelphia General Manager Reuben Amaro, Jr. announced Oswalt’s leave of absence in the following statement:

“He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are fine.”

“It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ house was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation.”

Based on Oswalt’s last outing, the move is also in the best interest of the team. Oswalt pitched three ineffective innings on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks allowing 5 runs on six hits with no strikeouts and one walk. He left the clubhouse long before the game ended and team manager Charlie Manuel knew something wasn’t right with the veteran hurler:

“His stuff wasn’t good. His stuff wasn’t crisp and his velocity was down. I figured there was bad idea in leaving him out there.”

Oswalt had pitched very well this season heading into the Diamondbacks game-he’d allowed only 5 runs in 24 innings in his first four starts this season. It was also the first time that Oswalt had been the losing pitcher of record in a game since he dropped a verdict on July 30, 2010 at Washington.

With his solid performance to date, there’s little to suggest that there’s anything physically wrong with Oswalt and that his bad showing in his previous start was simply a lack of focus caused by his family situation. The Phillies are currently 16-8 and lead the Marlins by game atop the National League East. Philadelphia has one of the best team ERA’s in baseball-they currently rank #6 in the big leagues with a 3.28 team ERA. Oswalt is now 3-1 on this season with a 3.31 ERA and 21 strikeouts.

Michael Phelps is a freelance writer and noted authority on bookmaking software sports sites. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a giraffe. He is currently working on an autobiography of former Obama’s science advisor John Holdren.

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