I’m never to big to admit when I’m wrong. I thought for sure the Mets had erred big time in leaving reliever Paul Sewald unprotected and exposed to the Rule V Draft. After all, the man has been fairly brilliant in his long minor league career – a 16-8, 2.20 ERA, WHIP a tick over 1.00 and over 10 Ks per 9 IP. Yes, he’s a control specialist type of picture rather than a fireballer, but those are eye popping numbers yet no one bit.
It makes you wonder why the Mets thought so little of him AND why 29 other clubs who had the option to pick him up after his 2016 in Las Vegas pitching hell where his ERA ticked up to 3.29 but so too did his strikeouts (11 per 9 IP). He pitched winter ball in Mexico hoping to catch the eye of another team and did what he always does – succeed.
Now that they have him on the AAA roster will the soon to be 27 year old get his shot to play in Queens? His performance far exceeds that of righties Erik Goeddel and Hansel Robles, both of whom were converted to relievers after failing as starters.
I’ve drawn the parallel in the past that he’s the pitching equivalent of T.J. Rivera. When they had their backs up against the wall and promoted Rivera out of necessity he did what he’s always done – hit the ball. Now maybe it’s time to consider that Sewald may just do the same thing if given the opportunity to pitch. His WHIP in Mexico this winter was 0.831. You’d think there would be room at the inn for someone with that kind of knack for keeping runners off base.
Right now he toils for roughly $71 per day as a non-bonus draft pick who is not on the 40-man roster but continues to dream about an opportunity in the big leagues. After finishing up his paid Mexican league sojourn he’ll likely be off to the minor league complex where he is unpaid for the time spent in Florida. It’s a tough road to the majors but perhaps Rivera can be an inspiration about perseverance.
Of course, right now it looks as if with Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores virtually guaranteed roster spots Rivera may once again find himself on the outside looking in as well.
You’d think the fiscally challenged Sandy Alderson who says his hands are tied to address other needs until he unloads payroll of either/both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson it would behoove him to look at minimum wage options. After all, proven commodities he’s chosen in the past like Frank Francisco and Antonio Bastardo certainly didn’t provide good value for the money.