Roy Oswalt left the Phillies eight days ago to help his family after tornadoes swept through his home state of Mississippi. The damage was eye-popping.
Streets were completely blocked with trees and debris. Houses were crushed. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed. Thankfully, Oswalt’s property was in relatively good shape. More importantly, his family was safe and secure.
“The good thing is it wasn’t a life loss,” Oswalt said. “My family is fine.”
Oswalt assisted with the cleanup effort by operating an excavator. He moved tree limbs and anything else that was obstructing the streets for several days. More than a year ago, his parents’ home was crushed by a tornado. When this latest natural disaster struck, he didn’t hesitate in heading back home — with the Phillies’ blessing.
Knowing that everyone was safe helped ease the tension.
“It’s mentally tough,” said Oswalt. “I think we were blessed. You can replace a house, but you can’t replace a life.”
Oswalt threw a bullpen session Thursday and could conceivably start on Saturday against the Braves. He didn’t throw at all while in Mississippi.
“We’ll see how he feels [Friday],” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “He looked OK, a little rusty but fine. It’s just timing and everything. He hadn’t been on the mound for a while.”