Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roy Oswalt says his "back's feeling good"

Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt ended last season on the disabled list (DL) due to a bulging disk in his back. But today he said that his "back's feeling good," according to Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle.

While Oswalt's ERA has moved higher in each of the past four seasons, his 2009 ERA jumped significantly to a career-high 4.12 over his 2008 ERA (3.54). Moreover, his ERA after the All-Star break (4.65) was considerably higher than it was before the break (3.85).

He had the highest flyball percentage of his career (35.6%), which led to the second-most homeruns allowed (19) of his career. In addition, Oswalt had a career low in victories (eight) resulting partly from getting a no decision in 16 games.

Phil Rogers of The Chicago Tribune speculates that Oswalt could be attractive to a contender by mid-season as a potential trade target. If that materializes, it could bump the number of wins for Oswalt in comparison to spending the entire 2010 season with the 'Stro's.

That said, Oswalt isn't setting any goals in reference to ERA, wins, etc. for 2010. Instead he's more concerned with durability.

“It's what I preach to the young guys: 200 innings should be your goal. Win-loss record, you can't really predict that.”

Oswalt hopes that beginning to pitch later in the year due to no World Baseball Classic and a change to his off-season conditioning program will help him stay healthy in 2010.

“I started throwing a little later this year,” Oswalt said . “I don't have to worry about getting some guys out from Japan and Korea.”

In fantasy drafts, Oswalt's average draft position (ADP) is currently 161.7 (14th round) in Yahoo! leagues. That ADP would be a bargain for a healthy Oswalt, who's a good candidate to bounce back after a career-worst year.

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