Roy Oswalt was hit hard during his time with the Rockies this season, but he isn’t ready to call it a career. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the 36-year-old intends to pitch in the majors next season.
The big question is whether anyone in the majors still wants him. Oswalt had an 8.63 ERA in six starts and three relief appearances this season after posting a 5.80 ERA in nine starts and eight relief appearances with the Rangers in 2012. His peripherals remain strong, but he showed diminished velocity in his small sample this year and had an alarmingly-high line drive rate as a result.
Per MLBTR, Oswalt would prefer to start, but he’s open to pitching in relief and has spoken to multiple teams about the possibility. And frankly, at this point he probably should take what he can get. It’s unlikely that anyone will be willing to give him a guaranteed major league deal.
Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.
Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.
All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.