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8/29/1977 (39 y, 5 m, 23 d)
1996 June Amateur Draft - Round: 23, Pick: 19, Overall: 684, Team: Houston Astros
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Oswalt has decided to retire, ESPN's Buster Olney reports. (2/11/2014)
Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/20 – For Draftstreet
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Daily Notes: Largely Concerning Roy Oswalt's Rocki»
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
Roto Riteup: June 18, 2013
David Wiers (RotoGraphs)
Revisiting My Preseason 10 Bold Predictions
Mike Axisa (RotoGraphs)
Buying for the Stretch Run in Dynasty
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The king of the Astros' rotation for nine years, the clock is now ticking on Oswalt's career. Now 32, he struggled with back problems and failed to reach 200 innings for the first time in five seasons. Disturbingly, his ground-ball rate took a dive in '09 (down to 43.3%) after being right around 50% over the past four seasons. Considering that he plays in a good hitter's park, that’s not good news. Perhaps due to his health problems, Oswalt's fastball dropped significantly in value in '09, although his curve showed signs of life.
The Year Ahead:
Fantasy managers will hope that Oswalt's back woes are a thing of the past, but that may be wishful thinking with the right-hander now on the wrong side of 30. He continues to exhibit excellent control (2.08 BB/9 in '09), but Oswalt has never been a big strikeout pitcher, so he needs innings and wins to really have value in fantasy baseball. Neither of those are certainties in 2010 because of his health and Houston's lackluster roster. Oswalt can still be a valuable fantasy contributor, but don't pay or draft for his reputation built on seasons past. (Marc Hulet)
Since 2004-2005, Oswalt's numbers have mostly been in a decline. Before 2010, his strikeout rate had been trending down from the mid-sevens to the mid-sixes, and his walk rate had been slowly increasing from under two to under three. In 2009, he added the second-worst ground-ball rate of his career to the picture, and it didn't look good. After famously telling Buster Olney of ESPN that he would retire after this contract was through, Oswalt seemed like he might be in for the quick decline that had been prognosticated for him based on his slight frame. It's hard to ignore the three-year stretch that came before last year, but Oswalt can regress a little and still put up an ERA in the mid-threes in 2011. With that veteran offense behind him, that should be worth a lot of wins -- making Oswalt a great fantasy No. 2 in standard leagues, and a sneaky ace in deeper leagues with owners unwilling to pay top dollar for pitching. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
Resurgence, thy name is Roy Oswalt. After years with many of his peripherals going the wrong direction, Oswalt shook off his age (33) and threw a blazing fastball of a season. Can he do it again?
For the first time since 2003, Roy Oswalt failed to start more than 30 games in a season. Limited by injuries to his back in 2012, Oswalt had an up and down campaign for the Phillies, struggling mightily in June and then returning to form after coming off the disabled list. On the season, Oswalt posted a 3.69 ERA (3.44 FIP), an uncharacteristically high 1.34 WHIP, and an uncharacteristically low 6.03 strikeout rate. It’s worth noting, however, that his strikeouts were much closer to normal in August and September after returning from the DL and while many will point to a significant drop in velocity on the fastball (91.4 vs. 92.6 in 2011), it did bounce back after his return, averaging 93.4 MPH in his last start. Another consideration is that Oswalt has never had the benefit of throwing in anything other than a bandbox. Citizens Bank Park and Minute Maid Park are two of the friendliest places for hitters, and yet he owns a career ERA just north of 3.00. Should Oswalt land in a more neutral or pitcher-friendly location and avoid the injury bug, he could be a pretty great target in later rounds. (Michael Barr)
The Quick Opinion:
Oswalt’s value is very much wrapped up in his health and his home team, and at 34, it’s hard to suggest he’s going to provide consistent innings. But when he’s on, Oswalt can be among the better starters in the league and his results late in 2012 were encouraging. If you’re risk averse, look elsewhere, but Oswalt could provide good value assuming he slips in standard drafts.
Oswalt busted hard last season. The 35-year-old served up 11 home runs in just nine starts and eight relief appearances en route to a 5.80 ERA. Despite the disastrous results, there is still some hope for a future seen in his strikeout and walk rates -- 9.0 and 1.8 per nine innings respectively -- but much of it rests on Oswalt finding a home away from hitter paradises like Texas. Oswalt is currently undecided on a return to the majors, and it would be difficult to justify stashing him on standard rosters should he pursue a midseason entrance once again. Watch him on the wire, though -- it wasn't all bad news last season. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Oswalt tanked in Texas, but great strikeout-to-walk rates give some hope of a career revival if the 35-year-old can avoid a hitter's park this time around.
Each of the past two seasons, Oswalt has gamely tried to pitch despite his back problems, and in each season there was a glimmer of hope. In his Rangers debut in 2012, he allowed just one run in 6.2 innings pitched, and notched six strikeouts to boot. In his 2013 debut with the Rockies, he struck out 11 batters in five innings, though he did allow four runs. In both seasons, his fleeting success did not last. That '13 debut didn't come until the end of June, and then Oswalt was only able to make four starts before landing on the shelf with a thigh injury. When he returned in September, he allowed seven runs in eight innings across two starts, and was then relegated to the bullpen. Oswalt has always been an efficient pitcher -- you either hit the ball or you don't, but you're unlikely to earn a free pass -- and it showed in 2013. He struck out 21 batters against two walks in his first three starts, which covered 16 innings. Unfortunately, he also allowed 27 hits -- nine hits an outing. This lack of walks but cornucopia of hits ends up with him having a great 3.08 FIP, but that assessment of Oswalt is far too kind. Even if Oswalt was able to pitch consistently -- which he probably is not capable of doing -- it's unlikely that he would be better than league average at this point. As sleepers go, he's a horrible bet, and is someone you probably don't even need to watch on the waiver wire.
The Quick Opinion:
Once upon a time, Roy Oswalt was one of the best pitchers in baseball. But back problems -- problems that surfaced as far back as 2005 -- have robbed him of that status, and even if he finds his way to a team and a rotation, his days of consistent success are almost certainly behind him.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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