New York Mets pitcher Corey Oswalt still looks far from MLB ready
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets pitcher Corey Oswalt now has over 50 big league innings. In those opportunities, he has failed to impress.
Corey Oswalt has had a special opportunity with the New York Mets in 2018. When the season began, it didn’t look like he’d get many chances at pitching in the big leagues. Injuries, transactions, and some bad weather have allowed him chances to take the mound a little more than expected.
Unfortunately, the results haven’t been spectacular.
Oswalt looks far from ready for a permanent MLB gig. As much as I would like to believe there’s a role for him in 2019, the kid needs more time.
Through his first 55.2 innings, Oswalt owns a 6.31 ERA. He has surrendered more than a hit per inning while striking out only six batters per nine. There’s not much to like about his numbers.
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Next season is Oswalt’s age 25 campaign. At that point in many careers, it’s about time to know what they truly have to offer. While it’s by no stretch old (heck, I’d trade places with many men of that age) it is an age when we like to know whether or not a prospect is a true major leaguer or a fringe player.
Oswalt has yet to establish himself as an MLB pitcher. With an ERA only Jason Vargas could envy, he’s a long way from offering much confidence.
Perhaps one of the biggest roadblocks in his attempt to have a successful year is the lack of strikeouts. Oswalt is not finding strike three often, leading to more batted balls.
And with those batted balls, there have been a ton of home runs. Already, 13 batters have taken him deep. It’s a frightening rate that no pitcher could survive let alone one who isn’t capable of earning big outs.
Oswalt could find his way onto the Opening Day roster due to the franchise’s lack of bullpen depth. By my count, only Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Drew Smith are guarantees for the 2019 relief corps. Oswalt, as a possible long-man option, may also join them. He will, however, need to earn our trust. Those three already did with productive 2018 seasons.
There’s little reason to believe Oswalt ever becomes a top-name pitcher on the Mets. A stellar 2017 in Double-A seems far in the past now. Just because he’s not destined for greatness doesn’t mean he’s useless.
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In the future, there’s a spot for him somewhere on the Mets 25-man roster. It’s just a matter of when he takes the next step.