With the announcement of this years Hall of Fame Class, let’s look at former Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt’s chances of getting into the Hall.
Pitching for the Phillies, Astros, Rockies, and Rangers Roy Oswalt was one of the best pitchers of the early 2000’s. A three-time All-Star, Oswalt dominated throughout his career before a freak back injury took years off his career.
When talking about pitchers, one of the most significant milestones for a pitcher is to reach is 300 wins. Oswalt falls quite shy of that with a career record of 163-102. With today’s sabermetric stats, wins aren’t looked on as heavy as they once were but still not reaching even 200 is tough. That being said, Dizzy Dean was elected with only 150.
Another stat people like to discuss is a pitcher’s ERA. Oswalt’s ERA isn’t outstanding at 3.36, but that’s not far off of a lot of the greats. For example, Robin Roberts and Tom Glavine both had higher ERAs, and Randy Johnson was only slightly below him at 3.29.
Oswalt also doesn’t have 2,000 strikeouts, something voters will knock him for next year.
With the sabermetrics in today’s game, the Wins Above Replacement has become a stat thrown around more and more. Among pitchers in the Hall of Fame, Oswalt would rank 57th just behind Hoyt Wilhelm with a 49.9 WAR. This would put him above Jack Morris, Bob Lemon, and Dean.
Something that is overlooked in voting is playoff performances. The gold standard for playoff pitching is Curt Schilling. Oswalt was never as dominant as Schilling, but performed well for Houston and Philadelphia. He went 5-2 across 13 appearances that are highlighted with the NLCS MVP for Houston securing two wins over 14 innings with 12 strikeouts.
In Philadelphia Oswalt was hot and cold in the playoffs, highlighted by an eight inning showdown with the Giants in the 2010 NCLS when he held them to one run with nine strikeouts.
He finished his career with just eight shutouts and 20 complete games, which won’t help his candidacy either.
For most of his career, Oswalt played on winning teams and pitched alongside great pitchers like Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay. Despite playing along with the greats of the game, Oswalt was viewed as one of the more dominant pitchers around. He won twenty games twice and was top six in Cy Young voting six times.
Have we forgotten the time Oswalt had to play left field in an extra-inning game when Ryan Howard was ejected and no one was left on the bench?
Now, are we saying that Oswalt should be a slam dunk, first ballot Hall of Famer? Absolutely not. That right is reserved for the best of the best.
There is a reason why you get ten years on the ballot. The writers will hopefully take a look at the career of Roy Oswalt and realize that he was one of the best pitchers of his time and a member of one of the greatest rotations of all-time.