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Video: Roy Oswalt Hit in Head with Manny Ramirez Line Drive

For those of you wondering if Manny Ramirez has any pop left in his bat at age 38, Roy Oswalt has your answer.  Oswalt left the Phillies game against the Rays on Wednesday — under his own power — after he was struck in the back of the head by a Ramirez line drive.  Fortunately Oswalt was able to turn and avoid injuries similar to those suffered by Blake Hawksworth last season. Check out video of Roy Oswalt hit by a line drive, courtesy of Crossing Broad:

Oswalt was being taken to a local hospital for x-rays, but the fact that he was smiling and able to walk off under his own power is a good sign.  Don’t worry, Phillies fans — the greatest rotation in baseball history will still have a chance to prove its worth.

NL Playoff Preview and Players to Watch

Also check out Alan Hull’s AL Playoff Preview

As the season wraps up and the National League contenders begin to separate themselves from one another, here is a look at some key players to watch down the stretch and through October.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Derrek Lee: There is no better way to add zeroes to the back of your next contract than to perform in the post-season when the stakes are the highest and all of baseball is watching. Lee will be looking to sign one last lucrative contract after this season. He had an opportunity to reinvent himself upon being traded to Atlanta, with the hopes he would replace some of the production lost when Chipper Jones went down. Lee responded by hitting a decent .289/.375/.433 since the trade. He will get another chance to start over in October and a few big hits will go a long way for his financial future.

Tommy Hanson: Tim Hudson has had a big season for the Braves, but has faded a bit down the stretch. Hanson, however, is the Braves most talented pitcher and has flown under the radar due to a mediocre win-loss record. This post-season may be a coming-out party for the 23-year-old future ace.

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Roy Oswalt a Solid Addition for Phillies

According to Yahoo! Sports, via the AP, Roy Oswalt has approved a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies and will be sent there from Houston in exchange for Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ and two prospects, pending a physical.  With the Phillies amidst a seven-game winning streak after stumbling for the better part of 2010, they’re about to make a great deal.  More importantly, it’s safe to say Steve Phillips would love it.

Never have my emotions been more mixed about a deal then they were when Philadelphia unloaded Cliff Lee to make room for Roy Halladay.  The younger Lee was coming off a dominant postseason and looked — and still looks — to be one of the best left-handers in Major League Baseball.  Yes, Roy Halladay dominated the AL so it was only assumed that he’d roast the weaker NL and yes, we entertained the idea of Halladay winning 25 games with the Phillies.  Oh yeah, and Doc also threw a perfect game this season and is still very much in the Cy Young discussion with a 12-8 record to accompany a 2.21 ERA.

However, it seemed like the Phillies were playing with fire when they made the Lee-Halladay trade.  They were dealing one great pitcher for another who is slightly more seasoned and dominant, but take into account the ages of the two and it almost seemed like a wash.  How much stronger can your rotation possibly get when you’re giving up a Cliff Lee and not bringing in two pitchers to replace him?  Philadelphia waited half a season, but they’re about to bring in that second arm.

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