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Mets call up Corey Oswalt, option Brandon Nimmo to Triple-A

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Oswalt will provide the Mets’ bullpen with a fresh arm while Nimmo will get regular playing time with the Las Vegas 51s.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets
Brandon Nimmo
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have called up Corey Oswalt, who had been currently pitching with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. Oswalt is one of the top pitchers in the organization, ranked the Mets’ 13th top prospect by Amazin’ Avenue in 2018. A member of a talented Las Vegas 51s rotation, Oswalt has only made one start this season, giving up three runs over four innings, allowing four hits, walking one, and striking out five.

The Mets selected Oswalt in the 7th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, having been personally been scouted by fellow San Diego native Paul DePodesta himself, and signed him for slightly over slot value. Prior to the 2017 season, the right-hander spent most of his minor league career flying under the radar, thanks to the general rigors of climbing the minor league ladder and various injuries setting his development back. In 2017, he came into his own and broke through the glass ceiling, fully healthy and confident in his stuff. In 24 starts with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies last season, Oswalt went 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA in 134.1 innings, allowing 118 hits, walking 40, and striking out 119. He was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and Mets’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Oswalt’s fastball can reach as high as 95 MPH but generally settles in in the low-to-mid 90s, sometimes backing up into the high-80s. The pitch generates a preponderance of ground balls, but Oswalt generates more fly balls than true ground ball pitchers because his pitch has less sinking action as compared to true sinkers. He complements his sinking fastball with a slider and a changeup, both of which are currently fringe pitches that flash average. The slider, which sits in the low-to-mid 80s, has shallow break, and the changeup, which also sits in the mid-80s, lacks much fade or fastball velocity separation. Neither the slider or the changeup generate many swing and misses, but they upset the timing and eye level of hitters, setting his fastball back up.

Despite the excellent numbers in 2017, Oswalt will have very little margin of error against major league hitters because of his lack of swing-and-miss stuff. In order for the right-hander to thrive, he will have to maximize the sinking action on his fastball and have faith that the Mets defense behind him will make all the plays.

In order to make room for Oswalt, the Mets have optioned Brandon Nimmo to Triple-A. Nimmo was seeing regular playing time until last Thursday, when Michael Conforto returned from injury. Since then, he has been used primarily as a pinch hitter. In the three games he started, Nimmo came up to the plate 12 times and hit .286/.583/.286. In his three pinch hit appearances, Nimmo swatted a double and drew a walk, raising hit batting line on the young season to .333/.600/.444.

With options left and playing time hard to find, Nimmo will be receiving regular at-bats with the Las Vegas 51s.