Corey Oswalt will get another chance to prove himself on Sunday afternoon.
He picked up his first career win on July 25 against the Padres, but was sent to the minors when Jason Vargas came off the DL. Now with Steven Matz injured, Oswalt is back in the majors.
Something that separates Oswalt from other young pitchers is that he’s not afraid to throw strikes. Tom Gamboa, his manager with the Brooklyn Cyclones when Oswalt made the 2014 NY-Penn League All-Star team, sees that the 6’5” pitcher pounds the strike zone and isn’t intimidated. For example, Chris Flexen, who also pitched for Gamboa, has walked 41 batters in 54.1 innings with the Mets. Plus there are all the hits Flexen allowed when behind in the count.
Oswalt has only walked eight batters in 27.1 innings, and three of those were in one inning against the Phillies, with one of the walks issued intentionally.
He’s actually a late-bloomer, having started pitching during his senior year in high school after playing in the infield. In 2017, he was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year after finishing 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA in Binghamton. This season in hitter-friendly Las Vegas, Oswalt is 4-4 with a 6.02 ERA in 11 starts.
At the Major League level, he’s been pounding the strike zone and opponents are batting .194 against Oswalt.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA although the last number is inflated because of a bad start he made in Miami in late June. He lost a game against the Phillies where he gave up one hit in six innings but the hit was Aaron Nola’s three-run double. Then he gave up one run in five innings against Washington before being pinch-hit for. And in his most recent start, two runs in five innings against the Padres before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.
He is the first Met to pitch at least five innings and allow three hits or fewer in three straight starts since Noah Syndergaard did it in 2016.
Mickey Callaway likes what he has seen from Oswalt and wants to see him pitch every fifth day, regardless of whether it’s in the majors or minors.
Oswalt will have a chance to impress the Mets brass today.