After a brief hiatus from this series, we’re back with Corey Oswalt! A pitcher who in my personal opinion got the short end of the stick in terms of prospect development this year as the Mets constantly sent him across the country, on red-eyes and short notice to pitch off schedule.
Oswalt was a late bloomer in the Mets system. BA attributes this to making a late conversion to pitching in high school thus spending more years in the lower levels of the Mets organization than a Top 30 prospect would.
The 2017 was his year thought. He went 12-5 over 24 games and 134 innings posting a 2.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP while recording 119 K’s vs 40 BB’s. This landed Oswalt on every Mets bloggers radar for the upcoming season.
Overall for the Mets last year, Oswalt went 5-5 over 17 games, 12 starts and 64.2 innings with a 5.85 ERA, 5.70 FIP, 1.376 WHIP and 63 ERA+. Somethings pop out when you look at his splits though. He had a solid stretch of starts in July where he pitched 20.0 innings and posted a 3.60 ERA (he posted a 6.35/6.14 ERA in August and September when the Mets started bouncing him around the bullpen and the rotation).
The change in numbers in July is seen even more when you only look at Oswalt as a starter. In 12 games and 55.1 innings as a starter, he had a 4.72 ERA, 1.319 WHIP. As a reliever in 5 games, only 9.1 innings, he had a 12.54 ERA with a 1.714 WHIP. Ultimately this speaks about the gaps in development the Mets provided once the season was spiraling out of control.
Oswalt’s position next year is completely dependent on two things. First, do the Mets sign another starter? If the Mets go sign or trade for another starter, Oswalt is almost certainly starting in Syracuse. Next, will the Wilpons get over Vargas? Vargas, making quite a bit money, gets the edge on Oswalt because he’s making quite a bit of money and the Wilpons historically push for playing time for their high rolling players.
Of course, all of that is predicated on Oswalt having a good spring. The most likely scenario for Oswalt is the team will debate in Spring whether he’s a starter or a reliever and if they pick the former, they’ll send him to Syracuse to start the season. Barring an injury to Corey, we’ll see him in 2018.