Roy Oswalt was one of the most under-appreciated pitchers on not only the Phillies, but in baseball in 2010. In 12 starts with the Phils, Oswalt posted a 1.74 ERA in 82.2 innings and struck-out 3.5 times the batters he walked. His 2011 season was a little different.
Little Roy left the team in April to tend to his family in tornado-ravaged Mississippi and was put out of action for nearly two months with a debilitating back injury in June. Oswalt would make 23 starts for the Phils, posting an ERA (3.69) almost a half of a run over his career average (3.21). Oswalt’s peripherals remained steady as his 2.14 BB/9 in 2011 was close to his career average of 2.09 and his BABIP of .316 against a career average of .296 indicates that he was about as “lucky” as he always was.
Throughout the season, however, Oswalt experienced a noticeable drop in velocity on his fastball and became more hittable. His K/9 was more than a full K less than his career average and he saw a nose dive in K%. Oswalt BAA (.275) and WHIP (1.34) were both noticeable increases against his career averages (.249 and 1.19) as well.
Down the stretch, Roy was gaining velocity back on his fastball but suffered through rough outings against Florida, Houston, and Washington. Not exactly teams at the top of the standings. Oswalt took an exciting no-hitter into the 6th inning versus Atlanta into September but it looked like Oswalt’s best days as a Phillie were firmly behind him. Oswalt’s last outing of the season, and perhaps last of his time in Phillies pinstripes, came against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS where David Freese nearly single-handedly ran Oswalt out of the game.
Grade: 7/10: On any other team, a full season of 3.69 ERA with 3 K/BB and a 1.338 WHIP, Oswalt would have been at worst a number 3 starter. Unfortunately, Oswalt could not reach his career average of 196 IP per season and didn’t deliver down the stretch or in the playoffs. Oswalt pitched well enough to keep the Phillies in most of his outings but I expect Oswalt to price himself out of the Phillies payroll for 2012.