We are two starts into Roy Oswalt's career as a Ranger. He hasn't been flawless, but the most important thing is that Texas has won both games.
The second half of the season will be important for Oswalt. He didn't pitch much in the first half, so from this point on every start will be monitored closely.
Here are some predictions for the numbers he will put up in the second half.
Roy Oswalt had a career 4.94 ERA at the Ballpark in Arlington when he signed with the Rangers. This stat might be a little misleading considering that he only made sporadic starts there over a 10-year period.
Thus far, his ERA sits at 4.26 after two starts at home. As he gets more comfortable in the Rangers’ ballpark and sharper with more work, this number should improve.
His track record is also important to consider when discussing his ERA and other stats. Pitching in a new league will have its challenges, but for a pitcher like Oswalt, a 3.50 ERA in the second half of the season seems very reasonable.
Should he remain healthy, Oswalt will probably make around 14 starts in the second half of the season.
With that in mind, nine or more wins is a reasonable expectation for that time period. As his last start against Detroit shows, Oswalt does not always have to be at his best when pitching for the Rangers.
Most times, a quality start will do just fine for him to pick up the win.
There will be days when Oswalt must pick up the slack when the runs aren’t scoring. He is definitely capable of that.
Oswalt has been a steady workhouse throughout his career. He has pitched 200 innings or more in a season seven times, including as recently as 2010.
His injury concern is probably more likely to keep him from reaching 90 innings in the second half than ineffectiveness, but we’ll have to wait and see.
A healthy, rested Oswalt should be very capable of reaching this number. For one thing, he will not have the wear and tear on his body in the second half this season like he has in years past.
The Rangers like it when pitchers go deep into ballgames. Their bullpen has been called on a lot this season, so any rest Oswalt can give them in the second half will be greatly appreciated.
Oswalt is averaging just under nine strikeouts per nine innings this season. It’s a small sample, but so far it looks like he still has the stuff to strike out a lot of batters. For his career, Roy has averaged over seven strikeouts per nine innings.
With his track record, a good number of strikeouts for Oswalt given his projected number of innings is at least 75.
He’s not the pitcher he was several years ago, so it isn’t realistic to expect double-digit strikeout totals in the games he pitches in. But, if the consistent Oswalt shows up each start, his second-half totals can still be impressive.
Oswalt has also been solid in the Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched category over his career.
He hasn’t had issues with walks (only three in 12.2 innings) so far. The problem has been hits. The most alarming stat of Oswalt’s first two starts are the number of hits he has given up. So far, opponents are hitting .393 against him.
The biggest reason for this is that he is pounding the strike zone, sometimes maybe more than he should be. One problem is that Oswalt has given up a lot of hits when he is ahead in the count. Of the 12 batters he has had in an 0-2 count, six have gotten hits.
Expect this to change. When the hits start to dwindle, so will Oswalt’s WHIP.