At one point in the not-so-distant past right-handed reliever, Paul Sewald was a mainstay in the New York Mets bullpen. The now 31-year old reliever never could quite put it all together during his time in Queens between 2017 and 2020, but now as a member of the Seattle Mariners, Sewald has put together a stellar campaign in Seattle and has become an integral part of their success this season.
As a matter of fact, Sewald has pitched so well this season for the Mariners that he has even racked up some saves out of the bullpen, and it may not be surprising to see more save opportunities with reliever Kendall Graveman recently being shipped away in a trade to the Houston Astros. Sewald’s success this season has left many fans scratching their heads on what went wrong with Sewald during his time with the Mets.
What’s even more frustrating is Sewald is having this same type of success alongside former Mets pitcher Chris Flexen who also has turned his career around with the Mariners this season. Clearly, something has clicked for each pitcher since moving away from Citi Field, and one reason for Sewald’s success has been his strikeout percentage. Sewald is striking out over 40% of the batters he has faced this season, in comparison, he never struck out more than 27% of the batters he faced in a given season in New York.
Former Mets reliever Paul Sewald has found heaps of success since signing a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners this past offseason.
A big reason for all of those strikeout numbers is Sewald is getting more swing and misses on both his slider and his four-seam fastball than he has in previous years. His fastball spin rate is also in the 85th percentile of all Major League pitchers and batters are hitting .145 against that pitch this season which correlates to many of those swings and misses that Sewald is getting.
I personally thought Sewald was simply overworked during his time in New York and was put in situations that would not allow him to succeed. Granted, I didn’t think Sewald would become the type of reliever that he is in Seattle currently, but I always viewed him as a potential serviceable piece as a middle-inning reliever.
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However, in a season when the Mets are grasping at straws for pitching depth, watching Sewald’s success does sting a little bit. But from here on out all we can do now is wish Sewald the best with his new organization and watch him continue to thrive in the not-so-bright lights of Seattle, Washington.