Reese Kaplan -- Long and Winding Road to Queens


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.


Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I think that Sewald will get a chance to prove himself in Queens at some point in the new season, if for no other reason than the fact that the pen is paper thin and there will always be an injury telephone call to Vegas.

Thomas Brennan said...

He'd probably have the best #'s of anyone in minor league history who never made it. I agree with Mack, injuries happen a lot, that could be his ticket. I was quite surprised no one drafted him from the Mets recently. Kind of telling, one would imagine.

You think back to the days of Ron Taylor as Mets 1969 co-closer with Tug McGraw, and. He was no flamethrower. Perhaps Sewald would have a much more successful and prolonged major league career back then, vs. Today's fireballer-focused game. Goodluck, Paul. His initials are PS, maybe he still will fashion quite a postscript to his career up in Queensm

Mack Ade said...

Put Sewald in between two flamethrowers and his 'stuff' would become even more effective.

Reese Kaplan said...

Was it his age or the fact that he's not a flamethrower that led the other teams to pass on him?

Thomas Brennan said...

Had to be his velocity. I bet he had one of the lowest ERAs of anyone pitching in hitter friendly PCL parks. 60 of 66 career saves. Guy gets it done.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I agree with Tom.

I never found age to be a detriment for a relief pitcher.

Reese Kaplan said...

Come to think of it, how old was Scott Rice before he got his break?

Thomas Brennan said...

Rice debuted at the tender age of 31 1/2.

Adam Smith said...

As cost conscious as this FO is, they had an odd disinclination to see what their own cost controlled players can do. Justin Turner never got a real chance here either.

Thomas Brennan said...

That Turner non-retention might of been a perceived personality thing...and the FO perceived 100% wrong.

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

I do not know Sandy Alderson, but what I have read about him in books is he does tend to develop grudges against players and get rid of them quickly after these grudges happen.

Turner was not an Alderson-managed player and he had no chance of sticking around.

The fact that Turner turned out to be such a valuable player for the Dodgers came back and hit Alderson in the face, but look now... even the Dodgers do not give a shit about Turner.

Follow the money...

Dave Schulps said...

I don't love it at all for the Mets, personally, but think it makes sense on some level given the Mets and White Sox current situations. Cecchini (no place for him) or Nimmo (ditto), TJ Rivera (no respect for him) and Sewald (ditto Rivera) for David Robertson. White Sox get two guys who obviously can hit and occupy the dh spot and a potentially reliable reliever for years to come, for a guy who probably still has some gas in the tank, but may also be starting to decline. Might the White Sox be more interested in Sewald if they didn't have to keep him in the majors all year? Would they even consider it? To me, Robertson isn't worth a Rosario, Nido or Dunn, but all thoseIve mentioned potentially have good upsides for an AL team. Thoughts?

Mack Ade said...

Dave -

I'm not sure what the market is for Cecchini, Nimmo, T.J. and Sewald. IMO, they are 4 second level prospects.

You get a guy like Robertson for someone that has already proven they can play major league baseball at a higher level, or for a blue chip prospect.

Right now the Mets have one of them... Rosario, and he is not going anywhere.

My only offer would be either Bruce or Granderson for Robertson

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