Don’t Forget About Corey Oswalt
Oswalt pitched two scoreless innings striking out five of the six batters he faced. It was a reminder Oswalt may still have an impact at the MLB level.
At this point in his career, it is difficult to say he’s been good. There have been glimpses here and there, but overall, as his career 63 ERA+ would indicate, he’s struggled.
One of the biggest reasons why is how he’s been used, or better put, abused, by the Mets. He’s sat unused for far too long stretches, had him pitch on three or fewer days rest, and they’ve bounced him between roles with zero preparation.
Put another way, the Mets did not put Oswalt in a position to succeed, and he hasn’t. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t.
Oswalt is a true four pitch pitcher who is willing to throw any of his pitches at any count. One of the reasons he can do this is his control. While not exceptional, it’s still quite good, and he can locate his pitches where he wants.
Oswalt does not have great velocity averaging around 92 MPH on his fastball. He also has not shown much spin on any of his pitches. As noted, he does combat this by locating.
That said, his change has nice drop to it. That helps allow the swings-and-misses, and it helps induce weak contact. The issue is he hasn’t really had that chances. That’s something the Mets really haven’t had.
The question fo Oswalt is whether he’ll get that chance now. That’s certainly up for debate partially because of the Mets.
Overall, this was a strong 2,0 innings for Oswalt. He showed why the Mets can’t give up on him. That goes double with the Mets starting staff beginning the year without Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo.
That right there is the key. The Mets need to pick a role to permit Oswalt to thrive and work within that role with Jeremy Hefner. That could be as a reliever, and it could be as a fifth starter. That’s up to the Mets.
With Oswalt off the 40, he has to reprove himself to get that call up again. He then has to stick. He has the talent, and he’s got the ability to work on things. Where he goes from here depends on his development).