Ace-ish pitcher Roy Oswalt has left the Philadelphia Phillies for personal reasons. Oswalt was a no-show in the clubhouse after his 5-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, and a team official made the announcement of his departure earlier today. The specifics are still a little vague.
The team does not know when Oswalt will return and did not detail why he has departed.
When asked if Oswalt would be back for his next scheduled start Tuesday, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. answered vaguely … “We expect him to be back.”
Oswalt left the Astros last Spring when a tornado destroyed his childhood home in Weir, Mississippi, and over the last two days a band of tornadoes and storms have moved through Choctaw County, where Oswalt was raised and resides. Another theory is that Oswalt has been struggling with mid-back spasms and has seen his effectiveness ravaged. Another theory is that it’s personal and none of our business. But this is a sports blog! Everything is our business!
Regardless, we wish Oswalt the best, and hope that he’ll either be able to work through his issues or buy and read a book about how tornadoes work.
Update: The Phillies have just issued a formal statement on Oswalt, and yep, it’s the weather.
“There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy’s home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area,” the statement reads. “Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family’s well-being. He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay.
“It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation.
“We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day.”