I know Oswalt's strained groin is a "day-to-day" injury, but it sounds like he's going to be out quite a while. Who will replace him? My money is on a guy we've only mentioned briefly in previous minor league posts, but who's quietly having a great start to the season.
Josh Muecke, a left-hander out of Loyola Marymount, was drafted in the fifth round (149th overall) in 2003. He took his time getting up to Triple-A, spending 2006-2007 in Corpus Christi bouncing between the bullpen and spot starts. This season, he's started all nine games he's appeared in, going 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 11 walks. Muecke has given up six homeruns, but only one of those has come in May, a month that's seen him go 2-0 with an even lower ERA of 2.37 with a WHIP of 0.89. While his low BABiP of .231 in May means his ERA may tick up, he's been very good especially given the fact the Pacific Coast League has played very hitter-friendly so far.
Muecke may not be a long-term solution at 26-years old, but is an intriguing option to call up should Mr. Oswalt indeed be hurt far worse than anyone believes. After all, with this offense and our sometimes strong bullpen, the starting pitcher just needs to give you five to six strong innings. Why not give Muecke a shot?