UPDATE! As we guessed, it was to tend to his family, after a number of severe storms have hit Mississippi. Here's the official release:
The Phillies issue the following statement regarding Roy Oswalt's decision to leave the team for personal reasons:
"There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy's home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area. Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family's well-being. He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn't significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay.
It is almost a year to the day that his parents' home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation.
We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day."
Ruben Amaro Jr.
Senior Vice President & General Manager
Earlier, we told you that Roy Oswalt left the clubhouse last night before he could speak to the media. The beat reporters thought it could be an issue with his back, but it turns out he left for "personal reasons."
A team official confirmed to me that pitcher Roy Oswalt has left the team for personal reasons. No return date yet has been determined or announced.
However, his departure from Tuesday's game was not related to his reason for leaving the team, the same team official said.
Ruben Amaro did say that Oswalt's health is fine.
Last year, Ryan Lawrence reported that Oswalt left the team to see his parents' new home, after their old one was destroyed in a tornado.
This is guessing, but there was just a whole bunch of severe storms in Mississippi, where Oswalt lives. I'm going to go with that as the reason why he left.
David Murphy used this as an opportunity to fire one across the bow of the Phillies PR staff: [Philly.com]
I wouldn't mistake the Phillies' vagueness for evasiveness. That's just how it sometimes comes across when you deal with an organization who doesn't understand the value of coherent communication with all you peons on the outside.
Quite honestly, I agree with that sentiment. Well, the incoherent communication part. Not the peons part.