Ron Washington Discusses the Addition of Roy Oswalt, Neftali Feliz’s Status and Yu Darvish’s Back Flare-Up

May 31, 2012 – 8:00 am by Brad Gagnon

The Texas Rangers continue to lack consistency early in the 2012 MLB season, but they still have the best record in the American League heading into Wednesday night’s action. And now, thanks to a recent transaction, the two-time defending AL champs have Roy Oswalt. The three-time All-Star signed on to join the Rangers this week, which could eventually give a boost to a staff that has dealt with some injuries of late.

Ron Washington joined Ben & Skin on ESPN Dallas to discuss Roy Oswalt’s arrival, the status of the pitching staff with Neftali Feliz hurt and Alexi Ogando’s aspirations, and to break down Yu Darvish’s recent struggles with back issues.

On the addition of Roy Oswalt to the rotation:

“We bring on a quality arm, we bring on experience. We bring on a guy that’s pitched in big games before. You’re always looking to try to get better, and hopefully he can do that for us.”

On if he’s thought about how it might be a crowded pitching staff when Neftali Feliz returns from injury:

“Not really. We really know what (Scott) Feldman offers. I think everyone knows what (Alexi) Ogando offers. And in Nefty’s case, Nefty can’t pick up a ball for four weeks. And we certainly don’t know what state we’re gonna be in when Nefty’s ready to go, so we’re trying to do what we can do to maintain and be better. And as we get near Nefty’s return, I think where the team stands and what the team will be doing at that point will determine what move we have to make.”

On if Alexi Ogando has aspirations to get back into the rotation:

“Well, right now that’s his aspirations is to be a starter. So say if we was coming out of spring training, the same thing that happened last year, where we lost a starter, and we have Ogando there. But the way things have set up right now, he’s such a weapon out of our bullpen. And with the addition now of Oswalt — you just don’t know, when you’re talking about starters, what’s going to happen, so you always want depth and we certainly have depth. But of course Ogando has aspirations to be a starter. But we’re not gonna weaken ourselves in one area to start trying to experiment right now. So with Oswalt coming on, and with Feldman in the rotation because he was already stretched out, right now the best spot for us for Ogando is in the bullpen. Now, that don’t mean that if something happens again along the way that we won’t think about getting him stretched out too. We’re just fortunate to be in that situation.”

On Yu Darvish’s poor start Sunday against the Blue Jays:

“Well, I thought it was execution. His execution was better than it was in Seattle — he had a back flared up and as he got a little deeper in the game, got into the fourth or fifth inning, the back flared up … when the back flared up we had to remove him from the game. But it will get better as we continue to move forward because it certainly was better than the time before. We certainly need him to throw more to contact and eliminate all the walks. And if he can eliminate all the walks and throw to contact with more consistency, I think his pitch count would be much better. But the back came into play as we got deeper in the ballgame, but I still thought he went out there and he did what I ask all my pitchers to do — keep me in the ballgame. He only gave up three runs.”

Washington and Ben & Skin also break down some recent scenarios — listen here

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