New York Mets: Paul Sewald earning his spot in the bullpen
By Tim Boyle
Longtime New York Mets minor league pitcher Paul Sewald finally saw major league action last year in his age 27 season. This year, things are going much better and his importance continues to grow.
Not many New York Mets fans are too familiar with relief pitcher Paul Sewald until last year.
Can you blame anyone who didn’t? He’s a 10th round draft pick who toiled away in the minor league system since 2012. The Mets finally gave him his chance in 2017 and the results were not memorable.
In his first year with the Mets, Sewald went 0-6 with a 4.55 ERA through 57 appearances. It wasn’t the rookie season Sewald hoped for. It also came as somewhat of a surprise considering how amazing he pitched in his professional career up until he faced major league hitters.
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From 2012-2015, Sewald never finished a season with an ERA higher than 1.92. I don’t care what level you’re pitching at. This consistency is noteworthy.
Sewald accomplished this while regularly closing. He racked up more than a strikeout per inning each year and never let his walk rate go into dangerous territory. His slow climb to the major league level couldn’t have taken longer. Now we’re finally seeing the positive results from a guy who earned his roster spot.
There are plenty of negative storylines about the Mets pitching staff this year. Just about everything Matt Harvey has done on and off the field is a bad one. We’re also seeing several key members of the bullpen blow leads in big outings.
Sewald’s season is going much different. He’s coming up big for the Mets in important spots.
Even though he recently took the loss in the finale against the St. Louis Cardinals, we must remember even the best pitchers suffer those hits on the chin once in a while.
Each outing, Sewald convinces me more that he belongs on this roster. After guys like Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo, he has been the surest bet to retire opposing batters.
Considering all of the bad news going on with the Mets pitching staff right now, one could whip out the cliche and call him a breath of fresh air. I’d advice against it because Sewald is his own unique pitcher.
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Whatever you want to call Sewald’s early season success, you have time to figure it out. He’s not going anywhere. His responsibilities will only grow and his importance to the Mets will become more obvious as the season chugs along.