Oswalt getting sharper, set for Double-A start

Oswalt getting sharper, set for Double-A start

DENVER -- Right-handed three-time All-Star Roy Oswalt is still three to four weeks from being considered for the Rockies' rotation, but his effort Saturday at extended spring training suggests he is progressing rapidly.

Pitching against a team of Brewers prospects, Oswalt gave up one hit -- a first-inning leadoff bunt single -- and struck out nine with no walks in five innings. It was his third start in extended spring in Arizona.

The next move for Oswalt, 35, who signed with the Rockies on May 3, is to Double-A Tulsa. He will make his first start for the Drillers on Friday at Arkansas and will be limited to 75 pitches. Bill Geivett, the Rockies' senior vice president of Major League operations, said Oswalt would need four or five starts before he is evaluated for a possible spot in the rotation.

Geivett has liked what he has seen on video of Oswalt's extended spring performances.

"I saw the majority of his [Saturday] outing, and he had very good command," Geivett said. "It looked like from watching the first couple starts before that one, certainly shaking the rust off was what he was going through. It was Spring Training, and he would get a little sharper the third or fourth time out."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.