Mike Maddux has plan for Roy Oswalt

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, who helped mold Roy Oswalt when both were at Round Rock when it was the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, said the plan for the 34-year-old isn't much different than a pitcher building up innings at spring training.

He'll start with two to three innings Saturday and then work up from there.

"You bump up your pitch count 15 to 20 pitches per outing over what you did last time," Maddux said. "It's basically a spring training, only it's five days instead of six."

Oswalt credits Maddux for making him into a pitcher who could throw more innings and pitch deeper into games.

"You want to work fast, get quick outs, before you know it, you're in the seventh," Maddux said. "It's pitch to contact, really. How can you have a three-pitch inning if you're trying to miss bats? Roy took it to the next level, he was very good that way."

Maddux isn't concerned about Oswalt starting the process during the season. He feels like it could be an advantage to get someone that's rested.

"You get a guy almost midseason that comes in pretty fresh, that could be a pretty good boost," Maddux said. "You go through those dog-day Augusts, it will be like his May, so he should be pretty fresh the rest of the season."

Maddux said the hitters will let Oswalt know how he's progressing, and he's got manager Bobby Jones and pitching coach Terry Clark keeping an eye on Oswalt.