Paul Sewald has arguably been the Mets' best reliever in May....10.2 IP, 2 runs in May, and 14 Ks in 12 innings so far this year. 



He has been throwing so well that, with Addison Reed used early in the Wednesday extra innings game with the D Backs, if the Mets had ever gotten the late lead, Sewald would have been brought in to try to close it out. 

Montero lost the game, though, so that never closer situation happened for Paul, but it shows increased organizational respect for Sewald.

Looking back on his minor league record, it is (like with TJ Rivera) surprising (to me, at least) that his talent did not get him called up to the Mets sooner.

In his minor league career as a reliever, he is 17-8, 2.19, with 70 of 77 saves and 319 Ks in 266 IP & a 1.03 WHIP. WOW.

But the big test for any aspiring Mets pitching farmhand is surviving pitching in Vegas...and he like many others experienced some adjustments in this hitter's paradise. 

He was cruising along until late May with a 1.71 ERA, then had the one spasm of his entire minor league career - he surrendered 21 runs (15 earned) in 21.1 IP from May 23 through July 15. 

Was it all finally catching up to Paul?  Nope, he's smart and was making adjustments. 

In his last 21.1 IP that AAA season, and the first 8.2 IP in AAA this year, he allowed just 7 earned runs in 31 IP with 41 Ks.  He had, to my mind's eye, conquered the pitching nightmare that is Las Vegas and the PCL.

Paul is not a high 90s guy, but I saw him hit 94 on one fastball the other day that moved like Greg Maddox had thrown it.  We've seen guys who threw arrow-straight 97 MPH fastballs like Manny Acosta did in 2012, where in 47 IP he pitched to a 6.47 ERA.  High speed ain't everything, son.

Sewald pounds the zone and strikes out plenty.  And he certainly seems durable.

Guys can be potentially great, but many don't stay healthy - Paul is ready whenever he is asked to take the ball, symbolized by a Saturday night and Sunday game on May 6 and 7 against the Marlins that he pitched in where the short reliever threw an amazing 84 pitches and allowed just 1 run over 5.1 IP and fanned 6.  Talk about impressing the boss.

I hope Mr. Sewald continues to be a bright light, and continues to impress the boss, in what so far has been a treacherous season for the NY Mets, and also does it for future seasons yet to come. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Paul came into last night's crucial with 2 outs in the 8th...not Salas, not Robles...they actually took out Blevins who was pitching great...and Sewald got the K he needed after a perfect bunt single. I know Terry had to be PLEASED.

Reese Kaplan said...

I wonder who told him to use Sewald? I seriously doubt it was his idea since Sewald is a rookie and you know the old man has no respect for those damned young whippersnappers.

Thomas Brennan said...

I think you are wrong there, Reese. I heard Collins saying some very complementary things about Seward BEFORE the latest relief outing.

I truly hope that Sewald survives the soon-coming return of Lugo and Matz. I can't imagine Ramirez will and likely Tommy Milone won't either. Sewald might just be on his way to becoming the new 8th inning guy.

Who else would it be - the shaky Salas? Robles, with his propensity for allowing big homers and melting down? I need to see more from Sewald, but I am leaning towards Paul.

Reese Kaplan said...

You forgot the wafer-thin ice upon which Rafael Montero stands.

Thomas Brennan said...

Very true, Reese. I brain-locked on Rafael...I think my mind tricked me into thinking he already was not here. Who ever had more chances than him?

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