Mets: The time to groom Corey Oswalt as a reliever has arrived
By Tim Boyle
There aren’t many opportunities for Corey Oswalt to find his way into the New York Mets rotation. The organization needs to use 2020 as an opportunity to see what he can do in relief.
Not long ago, Corey Oswalt looked like he could potentially become a big part of the New York Mets starting rotation. He was the franchise’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017 after putting together a fantastic season with Binghamton down in Double-A.
In the two seasons since, Oswalt has failed to take advantage of the few opportunities he had in the big leagues. Something I think we’ve all already forgotten—the man made 12 starts for the 2018 team. The results weren’t so promising. Combined with five relief appearances, he went just 3-3 with a 5.85 ERA through 64.2 innings of work.
Oswalt didn’t get the same opportunities in 2019 largely because the rotation stayed healthy. In his two appearances and 6.2 innings, Oswalt managed to lose a game and post a 12.15 ERA.
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The big league numbers for Oswalt differed greatly from what he was able to do with the Triple-A team in Syracuse. In his 18 starts and 91.2 innings in Western New York, the big 26-year-old righty went 10-4 with a 2.82 ERA.
Although the Mets could have used him at times for bullpen help, they never did turn to him. This needs to change. With little hope of seeing him pitch in the rotation in 2020, it’s time the organization grooms him to become a reliever.
Oswalt doesn’t have spectacular strikeout numbers, but over the past few seasons, has raised his averages. I would imagine these totals improve more when he shifts to the bullpen as it typically does for most pitchers.
Long-term, Oswalt doesn’t seem like a fit for the Mets rotation. He’s already on the other side of 25. It’s possible he could be a consideration for the 2021 rotation, but he would first need to prove himself again in 2020 in Triple-A.
Even then, I’m not so sure he gets an opportunity under the Brodie Van Wagenen regime which seems to prefer proven arms. Considering Steve Cohen is supposed to become the majority owner by 2025, it should mean BVW has to win a World Series to keep his job in that team. This means taking fewer chances on less-proven players.
And in all fairness, he needs to win it all regardless of any ownership change.
This doesn’t bode well for a guy like Oswalt. Still unproven in the big leagues, desperation may be the only chance he gets to start consistently for the Mets. Considering this, some opportunities to see what he can do in a relief role may be far more beneficial for him and the organization.
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The Dellin Betances addition is great, but it’s not a long-term solution. This team needs someone coming up the pipeline. Oswalt could be the man.