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Corey Oswalt made his debut with the Mets this season

The righty was used both as a starter and out of the bullpen.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

On paper, Corey Oswalt’s numbers do not look pretty from his first season in the big leagues. He finished the season with a 5.85 ERA and gave up 69 hits in 64.2 innings pitched. His FIP stood at an unsightly 5.70 and he was worth -0.6 bWAR at season’s end. However, the twenty-five year old showed flashes of being a useful piece to the Mets this season.

He made is debut on April 25 against the Cardinals in a relief appearance after Steven Matz lasted only 3.1 innings. The game was already out of hand, but Oswalt saved the bullpen and put in a nice effort. He pitched 4.2 innings and gave up two runs in the eventual 9-1 loss. Despite the solid performance, Oswalt was sent back to Triple-A and did not reappear until June.

Oswalt was pressed into service against the Marlins when Jacob deGrom had a family issue to attend to. Oswalt’s first appearance as a starter went horribly. He lasted only 2.2 innings against Miami and gave up six earned runs, but he got another chance and put together a pretty solid July.

Mickey Callaway kept his appearances short and typically did not let him pitch more than five innings. In four games in July, he went 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA. Opposing batters hit just .162/.240/.279 against him for that month and he seemed like he could be a useful fifth starter, or at least hold his own in the majors.

August was more of the same. He got his starts and continued to pitch pretty well. His worst start came against the Phillies where he gave up four runs in six innings. It did not matter since the Mets scored 25 and easily won 25-4. After that start he was sent to the bullpen and did not enjoy as much success. His worst outing came against the Nationals where he pitched only one inning and gave up six runs. A relief appearance against the Dodgers did not go much better when he did not record a single out and gave up five runs.

Despite not pitching a lot of innings down the stretch, he again limited the damage and had a 3.07 ERA over his final four appearances.

Overall, Oswalt did not miss alot of bats this season and he had only 45 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched. Callaway limiting his innings in the games he started seemed to be the correct move but that meant more of a reliance on the bullpen in those starts. That decision would have been fine if they had a strong bullpen, but the Mets certainly did not have that this past season.

Outside of a few really bad blow-up performances, Oswalt was a solid contributor and could be a reasonable option as a spot starter next season, as long as they have a strong bullpen backing him up.