Earlier today, Newsday’s Tim Healey recently tweeted details of a discussion with manager Mickey Callaway about the state of the Mets at the end of the first half, specifically the picture in the starting rotation. Callaway implied that the team will likely re-evaluate its options once Jason Vargas has fully recovered from a strained calf that has held him on the sidelines since June 29.
“Corey Oswalt is pitching today. We’ll see how he does. And then we just got to figure out what’s going to be best for our team.”
This news certainly does not bode well for Vargas who, despite two successful rehab starts amid some direly-needed time away from a big-league mound, has done very little as a Met to warrant starting games going forward. While he’s had a few stretches of passable outings, the 34-year old lefty has still compiled a horrific 8.60 ERA, averaging 2.63 HR/9 and just over four innings pitched per start.
Oswalt on the other hand, despite some similarly lukewarm figures (6.75 ERA, 2.08 HR/9), has improved with each of his three starts, going from a game score of just 21 in his Miami debut to 45 against Toronto and finally 62 in a solid one-hit effort against the Phillies earlier in the week. Last year’s minor-league pitcher of the year, Oswalt has certainly established himself as a more reliable option in the rotation than Vargas. That said, he could also profile well as a long-reliever, which gives Callaway, pitching coach Dave Eiland, and the front office plenty of wiggle room should they decide to accommodate Vargas and his contract.