FanPost

Roy Oswalt

I've haven't been posting much lately, although I've caught 3-5 innings of each of the games the last two days.

Roy Oswalt was one of the premier pitchers in the mid-2000s. However, since leading the league in ERA and finishing 4th in Cy Young voting in 2006, his statistics have dropped off, with the exception of 2010. Injuries have certainly played a role, and the fact that he is 35 probably has something to do with it as well. Ageless pitchers come once a generation; not everyone can be a Randy Johnson or Nolan Ryan. But the surprising thing about Oswalt's drop in effectiveness is that his strikeout rate has increased; after 2011, when he was injured and struck out only 6 per 9 innings, he struck out 9 per 9 innings in 17 appearances in 2012 and has struck out an astounding 11.8 per 9 innings in his 3 starts so far this year. His walks have remained constant.

The key statistic in his fall from near the top of the game, to someone who barely can hold on to a roster spot, has been batting average against. Through 2010, opponents never batted higher than .265 over a season. In 2011, that increased to .280, followed by .320 in 2012, and .375 this year. He's still striking out people, and not walking too many people, but he's getting hit. His home run rate of 4.2% in 2012 demonstrates this further. This season, however, in his three starts, the BABIP against is an incredible .500. BABIP against in 2012 was .384. This would indicate two things: 1, Oswalt is due for some improvement this season, and 2, opponents are making better contact, which accounts for both the higher BABIP and BA numbers.

Statistics of D-backs against Oswalt are here. Given the length of Oswalt's career, I was a bit surprised to see only 84 plate appearances, but that testifies to the youth of the D-backs. Nobody has done particularly well, with Parra and Kubel posting the best career numbers. Cody Ross has also done fairly well, and has the only home run against Oswalt.

We all know what Corbin can do against the Rockies. He'll have a good chance to pick up that 10th win today, and will be assisted by no longer having the added pressure of trying to get to 10-0. But he'll need to be on his game, as I think Oswalt will probably be much improved over his previous starts. That BABIP number is definitely going to drop. But between Ross, Parra, and Goldschmidt (who has never faced Oswalt) the D-backs should be able to summon plenty of offense to get Corbin the win and the D-backs the sweep.

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