Baseball notebook

Oswalt throws in with Phillies

Astro OKs trade; O’s hire Showalter

Associated Press / July 30, 2010

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There’s a new Roy in town — and he’s an ace, too.

Three-time All-Star Roy Oswalt gave his OK to a trade from Houston to Philadelphia yesterday, becoming the latest star pitcher to join the hard-charging Phillies.

After getting Roy Halladay in the offseason, the two-time defending NL champions got Oswalt and a sizable amount of cash from the Astros for pitcher J.A. Happ and two speedy prospects, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar. Houston then traded Gose to Toronto.

Oswalt joins a rotation that includes Halladay, acquired from Toronto in the offseason, and Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP. Oswalt is scheduled to make his debut for the Phillies tonight at Washington.

“We’re trying to do what we can to get back to the World Series and win it,’’ Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The Phillies have won eight straight and trail Atlanta by 2 1/2 games in the NL East.

Oswalt, 32, was 6-12 despite a 3.24 ERA for Houston, and the Astros were shut out in five of his 20 starts. He was 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA in 10 seasons with the Astros. He is due about $5.33 million the rest of this season and is owed $16 million in 2011. Oswalt’s contract has a $16 million mutual option for 2012 with a $2 million buyout.

Happ, who went 12-4 and finished runner-up for the NL Rookie of the Year award last season, has made one start after missing three months with an elbow injury.

From booth to bench
Buck Showalter was hired to manage the Orioles, his latest rebuilding project in a major league career full of them. Showalter’s first game will be Tuesday night at Camden Yards against the Angels.

Baltimore brought the worst record in the majors at 31-70 into last night’s game against Kansas City and is headed toward its 13th straight losing season. The Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley June 4 and replaced him on an interim basis with Juan Samuel. Samuel will return as the team’s third base coach. Baltimore has gone 16-31 under him.

“My job with ESPN allowed me to follow this organization closely over the last several years, and although the current record may seem to indicate otherwise, I see enormous potential with this club,’’ Showalter said in a statement released by the team.

Showalter, 54, is a two-time AL Manager of the Year, with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. He also was the first manager in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks when they began play in 1998. He was fired after the 2000 season, and Arizona won the World Series in 2001.

Strasburg put on DL
Rookie righthander Stephen Strasburg went on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, the latest indication of how careful the Nationals are being with their prized pitcher. It’s the first trip to the DL for Strasburg, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft and signed a record $15.1 million contract. “If he’s 90 percent healthy, we shut him down,’’ manager Jim Riggleman said. “He’s got to be 100 percent.’’ Strasburg is 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA, 75 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 54 1/3 innings since making his debut June 8 . . . Athletics righthander Ben Sheets, out for the season with a torn flexor tendon in the elbow, plans to have surgery soon, something he said will increase the chance he could pitch again if he so decides.

Twins add Capps
The Twins bolstered their bullpen, acquiring All-Star closer Matt Capps from the Nationals for minor leaguers Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa. Capps got his 26th save in 30 opportunities earlier yesterday in the Nationals’ win over the Braves. Jon Rauch, who has 21 saves in 27 chances, is expected to move into a setup role . . . The Rangers added another bat for the stretch, getting infielder Jorge Cantu from the Marlins for two minor league pitchers. Cantu hit .262 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs for Florida. The deal comes on the same day the Rangers placed All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin. Kinsler, who started the season on the DL with a high ankle sprain, is hitting .298 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in 76 games . . . The NL West-leading Padres obtained infielder Miguel Tejada and cash from the Orioles in exchange for Double A righthander Wynn Pelzer.

A-Rod: money worries
Alex Rodriguez filed an objection to aspects of next week’s auction of the Texas Rangers, saying he and other former players may not get the millions owed them. Rodriguez is due $24.9 million in deferred compensation six years after he was traded to the Yankees. At the auction set for Wednesday, the starting bid is from a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, who are Major League Baseball’s preferred buyers. Their $575 million bid includes paying the full $204 million owed to A-Rod and other unsecured creditors. But other potential buyers can decide which provisions to include in their offers . . . Miss Iowa Katherine Connors accepted an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Washington’s game tonight, a few days after Nationals pitcher Miguel Batista made reference to Miss Iowa as part of a self-effacing joke. Batista was a late replacement for rookie sensation Strasburg Tuesday, drawing jeers from fans. Batista said he understood why fans had jeered him. “Imagine,’’ Batista said, “if you go there to see Miss Universe, and you end up having Miss Iowa — you might get those kind of boos.’’ He later said he hadn’t intended to insult the real Miss Iowa . . . Investigators have determined that Rockies president Keli McGregor’s death in April was from natural causes. McGregor was pronounced dead April 20 after being found in a Salt Lake City hotel room. He was 48.

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