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Does Oswalt's Last Start Hurt His Trade Chances?

For the past two or three years, Astros fans have shielded their eyes. For a team built on pitching merely five years ago, one man somehow reversed the trend of good quality Astros baseball.

Since Tim Purpura's firing, we've met Edward Wade. We've lived through the Brandon Backes, the Shawn Chacons - heck, even Mike Hampton played a couple games for us.

However, one pitcher has stood out amidst a rotation filled with unfulfilled propects and aged veterans. You know him simply as Roy O.

Yet, because the Astros are on pace for a 60-100 season, trade rumors have started to swirl around our only productive player. Many of you, had you been concious the past two months, knew this. This is not news.

Speculation has arose around playoff-quality teams such as the Twins, Mets, and Rangers, with Oswalt likely to accept a trade to any team in the playoff hunt.

However, did last night's start hurt his chances?

Oswalt's ERA jumped nearly half a run in last nights 10-1 loss to the Rangers, where Roy O gave up an unprecedented eight runs, two home runs and four walks in less than five innings of work.

And while many GMs may look at his last outing as an indication that he cannot survive in the AL, one Dallas columnist and Rangers reporter still has his arms wide open for Oswalt, and deservedly so.

Even after the Rangers dismantled Oswalt, Ron Washington still likes what the Astros' ace could potentially bring to his team:

"Aggressive," the manager said. "He attacks. Mound presence. Confidence. Stuff. ... We're talking about guys who take it to the seventh, eighth, ninth inning every night."

Another fact to take into consideration is his opponent, the red-hot Rangers, who have won 13 of 14 on Josh Hamilton's streaking back.

And while Oswalt's record isn't pretty, the Astros are only averaging 2.99 runs per games in which he starts.

Roy O may not get traded this season.  But last night won't be the reason why.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.