But six years later, the 27-year-old De Vries -- already in his third stint with the Twins in his first Major League season -- looks a lot more reliable than his once perennial All-Star counterpart.
De Vries was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday for the third time. He will make his fifth start for the Twins on Sunday against the Rangers. The right-hander was at his best in his most recent start, allowing only a solo home run in a six-inning effort against Kansas City on June 30. De Vries was sent back to Rochester immediately after, though, as it was the second game of a doubleheader and he was on Minnesota's roster as its 26th man.
The optioning of Liam Hendriks to Triple-A earlier this week has given De Vries yet another opportunity.
"It feels real good to be the first guy called back up," De Vries said. "It means they want me back up here. It always makes you feel good. So I hope I can go out there and throw a quality start and give my team a chance to win."
Oswalt, on the other hand, has struggled after his promising first start, in which he allowed one run to the Rockies in 6 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old right-hander surrendered a career-high 13 hits in each of his two starts since, as well as a career-high 11 runs to the White Sox on Tuesday.
Opponents are hitting .422 against him. But Oswalt said he isn't concerned with numbers, only winning games.
"Two starts ago was a great game," he said. "Last game was pretty bad. I actually once told myself that if I get to a point where I have to come out in the first inning, I'd probably have to retire.
"I'm here to win games. I'm not here to put up numbers. That's the only thing I'm looking for."
Twins: Morneau looks for breakout second half
After hitting .232 with one home run during June, Justin Morneau carries a nine-game hitting streak into Sunday's first-half finale. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and is hitting .351 (13-for-37) over those nine games.
"You have to keep believing the hard work is going to pay off eventually," he said. "If I keep getting in there and working hard, hopefully good things will happen in the second half. We still have a lot of time and a lot of games left. A lot of time to turn it around."
Minnesota is unsure if P.J. Walters will make another rehab start with Triple-A Rochester after giving up five hits in five scoreless innings for the Red Wings on Friday. Right shoulder inflammation put the right-handed starter on the disabled list on June 14.
Rangers: Hamilton returns after back scare
Josh Hamilton started as Texas' designated hitter and batted third on Saturday, going 1-for-4 with a home run a day after leaving a game with lower back spasms. Hamilton felt OK after receiving treatment.
Texas manager Ron Washington was relieved to be able to keep Hamilton in his lineup. The Rangers entered Saturday's game with a .209 average this month.
"He's my best player," Washington said. "We need production. We've got not production in the lineup. So when your most productive guy says he can play, you play him."
Rookie Robbie Ross' current ERA of 0.96 would be the lowest at the All-Star break by any pitcher since the first Midsummer Classic was played in 1933. Bob Gibson's 1.06 ERA in 1968 is the current mark, while Bruce Sutter's 1.11 in 1977 is the lowest by a reliever.
Texas' win on Saturday pulled the Rangers even in the all-time series with the Twins, 249-249.
A win on Sunday for the Twins would give them their first series win at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington since 2006.