Buzz: Roy Oswalt wants on playoff roster

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt said that much has been misconstrued about his acrimonious few months with the Texas Rangers.

Or perhaps it's only seemed acrimonious.

"There's been a lot of opinions out there on different things; not really correct, but you've just kind of got to roll with it and let people take whatever kind of angle they want to at you because you can't really protect yourself as a player," Oswalt said. "It doesn't really matter what you say, it's what other people think about you.

"You try to be as professional as you can, and sometimes your emotion will get the best of you a little bit here and there. If somebody's not upset for coming out of the ballgame, that means they didn't want to be in the ballgame. At the end of the year, I didn't come over here to lose. I came over here to win and help the team as much as possible."

Oswalt said the criticism he's taken has been "pretty bad" and that he's tried to "roll with the punches." He said people are mistaken if they have interpreted any perceived sulking for a lack of commitment to the team's goals.

All this came up prior to Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays because of a morning report that Oswalt had cleared waivers, freeing the Rangers to trade him. Some reports had the Dodgers and White Sox as teams in need of starting pitching depth and potential destinations.

However, Oswalt said he's known that he cleared waivers for weeks, meaning the Rangers have been able to entertain trade proposals since he cleared. The fact that he hasn't been traded suggests the Rangers aren't interested in simply unloading him.

Oswalt said he's obviously disappointed that he's not in the rotation, but said he wants to be on the playoff roster and will help in any capacity.

"I don’t know if I’ll make the playoff roster or not," Oswalt said. "But if I’m on it I’ll do whatever they need me to do."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said again Tuesday that he's fine with how the veteran right-hander has handled his demotion.

"He's been a pro," Washington said.

Other notes:

* Mike Napoli's return remains a mystery. The hope was for him to begin a rehab assignment this week, but it appears that will not happen. Napoli ran the bases Monday and said he felt only "so-so." Washington said the team is relying on Napoli to be truthful with his self-assessment and that they won't bring him back until he is certain he can go. The minor league season ends Monday, but Napoli could play for the Frisco Roughriders in the playoffs. If not, Washington said Napoli will simply have to get his legs under him at the major league level.

"If he's healthy he's just going to have to strap it on," Washington said.

* Catcher Geovany Soto will start for the 15th time tonight in the Rangers' last 21 games. He's hitting .280 on the homestand with six RBIs and has raised his batting average to .211 from .199 since coming over in the trade from the Cubs.

* Wednesday's series finale against Tampa Bay is a 6 p.m. start. The time was changed to help facilitate traffic flow due to the Cowboys-Dolphins preseason game down the street at Cowboys Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

* Infielder Luis Hernandez cleared outright waivers Tuesday and was assigned to Double-A Round Rock.