Roy Oswalt has been a bit unimpressive. I’ll just throw that out there. He’s only started three games so far, so there’s still room to grow. The sample size is still very small for the year, but his numbers are well below the norm for him. However, he was out for nearly half a season and had very little time to get back into the swing of things.
At first glance, none of Roy Oswalt’s three starts stood out to me as great. Looking back on them, though, I realized his first start was better than I remembered. He only allowed one run in 6.2 innings pitched. It must have been the nine hits and that .409 BABIP that masked a solid outing in my eyes. He recorded six strikeouts, only one walk, and the Rangers beat the Rockies, a National League team. Roy was just being Roy. It was good.

Then Roy came back to the mound against an American League team with a lot of power, the Detroit Tigers. Roy still recorded six strikeouts, and this time only two walks in six innigns. The big difference here is that he gave up thirteen hits and his BABIP skyrocketed to .591. The balls being hit counted for something. He allowed five runs, all earned. The Rangers managed to give him massive Run support and won the game 13-9.

Roy then seemed to just get worse. Or maybe Roy just met up with Kevin Youkilis at the exact wrong time. Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, another American League team, goes down as the Rangers worst loss of the year. 19-2 was the insanely lopsided score. Roy only pitched 4.2 innings, giving up 11 runs (9 earned) and only 4 strikeouts. He only walked one, but the 13 hits seemed to produce runs at a constant rate. A .500 BABIP suggests he just wasn’t in command.

For the season, Oswalt’s ERA is a 7.79. His WHIP is 2.25. His BABIP is .500. None of that is impressive. His career ERA before 2012 is 3.21. His career WHIP before 2012 is 1.173. There is a big difference there. In 2010, in 82 innings pitched with the Phillies alone, he allowed just 18 runs. He’s already allowed 17 runs in 17.1 innings with the Rangers. Despite his injuries last season, he still started 23 games and held opponents to a .280 batting average. Roy has the ability to be impressive. Extremely impressive. The proof—this season he’s averaged 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and just 2.1 walks. He’s also recorded 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. The signs are there.

It could be the American League that’s tripping him up, since out of his three starts, his best came against a National League team. It could be the fact that he missed nearly half the season with no spring training to prepare. It could be his age or his back injury. Whatever it is, Roy has not been pitching up to his standards. However, it’s only been three games, and he’s not completely wheels off just yet. He throws strikes. He knows the strike zone. Signs of the good Roy are still around. Give him time.

Emily Cates

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