Tuesday packed a double dose of bad news for the Phillies pitching staff, as ace Roy Halladay hit the disabled list and would-be fill-in Roy Oswalt took his talents to Arlington.
The deal that will send Oswalt to Texas appears to be all but done, and according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Oswalt will receive $5 million to pitch Texas over the remainder of 2012 and another $1 million in incentives.
Oswalt was just 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA for the Phillies last year, but it's a pretty big blow to lose out on landing him, given the current state of the pitching staff. As we noted yesterday, Philly was one of the few favorites to land the three-time All-Star.
Cole Hamels has turned into the team's ace, giving up just nine earned runs (four of them coming on Monday) in his past five starts -- all of which he's won -- while striking out 36 batters over 38 innings. (The Phillies are also 9-1 when Hamels starts a game this season.)
Cliff Lee's 0-2 somehow, but he's also been pretty stellar this year ... when he's been healthy. And, of course, Vance Worley's dealing with an elbow injury.
There's no guarantee that Oswalt, who hit the DL with the Phils twice last season, will be healthy and/or effective this season. He's 34 years old and it's possible that he won't be worth the high price that the Rangers are paying for him.
But it's also possible that the Phillies, who are trying to tread water in the NL East while their big bats get healthy, could begin to sink further away from the division leaders with one of the (if not the) best rotations in the big leagues suddenly reduced to just an impressive 1-2 punch at the top, especially if there's no offense behind the pitching.
Oswalt being in the American League doesn't directly impact the Phillies ability to win games, but it's still a damaging blow for a team that's really underwhelmed thus far in 2011 and doesn't appear on the verge of getting better any time soon.