MLB Free Agents 2012: Why Roy Oswalt Would Send Detroit Tigers to World Series
There is no question that the Detroit Tigers have a need in their starting rotation.
While names continue to swirl with the upcoming winter meetings right around the corner, one name that is not mentioned in relation to Detroit is Roy Oswalt.
However, during the 2010 season, his name came up quite a bit when he was a starter for the Houston Astros.
Oswalt's veteran presence and big-game experience could be the key in getting the Tigers back to the World Series for the first time since 2006.
Don' let his age fool you.
Even at the age of 34, Oswalt still has the stuff that can turn any rotation into a golden one during the postseason.
During his time in the majors, Oswalt has been nothing short of electric. He is a two-time 20-game winner and boasts a 3.21 career ERA.
While he may be coming off a year where he struggled due to health and family concerns, Oswalt still has the ability to light it up every time he takes the mound. His experience, including his highs and lows, can only be beneficial to a current Tigers rotation that has young, electric arms (average age of Tigers starting rotation minus Brad Penny is 26).
This man knows how to win.
Not only has he put up big numbers during the regular season, but he also has a stellar playoff record. During the postseason, which he has been to four times throughout his career, he has a 5-2 record with a 3.73 ERA. He was also named the NLCS Most Valuable Player during the 2005 season where he helped catapult the Astros to the World Series.
What Oswalt needs is a new environment—one that is going to allow him to be the dominant pitcher he has always been, while at the same time providing him a chance to win that elusive World Series title that has eluded him all these years.
Numbers Don't Lie
What Oswalt has been able to do throughout his 11 season has been remarkable.
His numbers show just how effective a pitcher he has been throughout his illustrious career. During his 11 years, he has won 159 games.
Even though he has had some rocky seasons, including last year, Oswalt has shown he has the stuff to make any team a contender.
After he was traded to the Phillies in 2010, he was untouchable. He went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA, and opposing hitters only hit for an average of .186.
Oswalt was given a fresh start and a chance to win a World Series title. When given that chance, he produced in a big way.
Imagine a revitalized Roy Oswalt pitching in spacious Comerica Park.
Pitching Style Fits Well
Roy Oswalt's pitching style and attitude would fit perfectly into the Detroit system. Fans would love his tenacity, hard work and quick pitching style.
Oswalt has always been known as a fast worker on the mound, as his time between pitches is often very short. This is very similar to another recent addition to the Tigers staff in Doug Fister.
He has four main pitches that he uses on a consistent basis. His fastball, which tops out anywhere between 92 and 94 mph, is his favorite. He has been known to throw his fastball very aggressively, which challenges the batters to swing or strike out. His curveball is his second-most-dominant pitch, and it usually comes in around 70 mph. Oswalt also has a slider, which he tends to use sparingly.
Finally, in 2010 Oswalt added a new pitch known as a Vulcan changeup. Similar to the circle changeup, the Vulcan changeup has a lot of movement and it becomes incredibly difficult for hitters to get a good read on its location.
Given a chance, Oswalt could bring these pitches and his work ethic to Motown and shut down opposing hitters every fifth night.
Provides Solid Depth in the Rotation
Let me say that the Tigers rotation is already considered "deep."
When Justin Verlander, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner, is the ace of the rotation, it is definitely deep. However, the other three current members cannot be ignored. Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello all have incredibly high ceilings and improved dramatically during the 2011 season.
In order to reach the World Series, the Tigers need a veteran starting pitcher with big-game experience who knows how to win. Roy Oswalt would be an incredible fit for that open spot in their rotation.
Health and family issues aside, Oswalt could provide an immediate spark for the Tigers, much like he did in 2010 after being traded to Philadelphia.
While Brad Penny came in and did what was expected of him in 2011, Oswalt could provide much more in terms of wins and depth.
Roy Oswalt could be the free agent that no one is talking about who helps launch the Detroit Tigers to the World Series in 2012.