menu

Paul Sewald Has Real Value

While things have been going well recently, the Mets have had trouble identifying those relievers whom they can use and trust to eat up innings and take care of games where they have large leads. When that is an issue for your team, you wind up using and wasting good relievers in non-critical spots. You are also forced to use good relievers when it should not have been necessary.

On August 6, the Mets had a five run lead heading into the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins, the worst team in the National League. After eight dominant innings from Zack Wheeler, the Mets went to Robert Gsellman in the ninth. The following night, the Mets once again had a five run lead heading into the ninth. The team would use Jeurys Familia and Luis Avilan to close out the game.

On the roster at that time was Chris Mazza and Donnie Hart. The team did not use either reliever in that spot or really any spot. Truth be told if you can’t trust those relievers to close out games against the worst team in the National League, you don’t have any business being on the roster. It should come as no surprise neither pitcher is currently on the Mets roster.

When Mazza and Hart went down, Drew Gagnon was one of the relievers who replaced them on the roster. The Mets would bring Gagnon to pitch the eighth inning in the August 15 game against the Braves. At that time, the Mets had a 10-3 lead, and they just needed someone to pitch the final two innings to give the bullpen a rest. Instead, Gagnon would allow four homers, including a homer to Freddie Freeman in consecutive innings, thereby necessitating Edwin Diaz coming into the game to record the save in a 10-8 game.

This led to Paul Sewald being selected from Syracuse and re-joining the Mets bullpen. While this was largely met with eye rolls and consternation, Sewald is exactly what the Mets needed. In yesterday’s 9-2 victory over the Indians, the Mets would use Sewald out of the bullpen in the ninth. There would be no drama as he would allow a double while striking out three batters. In the grand scheme of things, these are the types of outings which are both necessary and overlooked.

Since his debut in 2017, Sewald has handled these situations well. In his career, in what is characterized as low leverage situations, he has held opposing batters to a .209/.262/.341 batting line. When there is a four run lead in either direction, Sewald has held opposing batters to a .223/.294/.365 batting line. This has permitted him to pitch multiple innings in these situations. In turn, this has allowed the Mets to save their better relievers for higher leverage situations.

This has an immense amount of value to a team, and these are the types of outings which helps a team get to the postseason. This is what Pat Mahomes provided the Mets in 1999 and 2000, Darren Oliver provided in 2006, and Sean Gilmartin provided in 2015. This is what Sewald can be over the remaining 37 games of the season. His doing that frees up Lugo, Diaz, Familia, and Justin Wilson for the higher leverage situations.

All told, Sewald can provide an immense amount of value to the Mets bullpen by eating up those innings and not having Mickey Callaway need to worry about needing to go deeper into the bullpen in these situations. As we have seen this year, this is not a role which is easily filled. Ultimately, Sewald can perform well in situations where others cannot, and as a result, he provides this bullpen and this Mets team with real value.

14 thoughts on “Paul Sewald Has Real Value”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    The curious thing is….a starter can give up 4 or more runs and keep his job — Thor did it all spring. A closer can blow saves regularly. But the garbage time guy’s runs seem to hang like an albatross.

    Just an observation.

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Let’s not make Sewald into something he isn’t – better than he actually is. He’s been bad enough to DFA earlier this season and pass thru unclaimed.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/05/mets-designate-paul-sewald-select-rajai-davis-send-brandon-nimmo-to-10-day-il.html

    He’s among the the many interchangeable MLB relievers who shuttle between AAA and big leagues as needed and are over-exposed as opponents adjust. Some are on again, and off the 40 roster, serving as 24th, 25th man, and injury call ups who fill roles and voids.

    Sewald’s fastball averages 89.4 MPH and must depend on pitchability, including command, change of speeds. eye level, deception setting hitters up. That’s a 2 mph drop in fastball velocity since 2017, losing 1 mph per season. His early success in the big leagues was later over-exposed, Mets have worked with him this season to change his arm action. He is and remains organizational depth who could be placed on waivers at any time to clear a 40 for someone else which may indeed occurring September with roster expansion.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’ve made Sewald out to be a back of the bullpen reliever who has been very adept at eating innings and saving the bullpen in blowouts.

      There’s value in that, and as we’ve seen, it’s not something just anyone can do.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        Have you’ve asked yourself why Sewald has pitched in just 5 big league games this season, was DFA’d in May, and 29 teams said no thanks?

        He’s a reliever with an average fastball velocity of 89.4 mph. That’s a drop of two mph since 2017.

        The important question I think, is how can he become better? And stay that way even when the opposition makes adjustments. Everyone passed over him for a reason.

        His reworked 2019 arm slot, may or may not be his saving grace. That arm slot became necessity in light of his struggles staying as he was. We need pitchers who are reliable in a range of situations. not just mop up duty.

        Here’s His 2019 Minor League Splits:

        https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=sewald000pau&type=pgl&year=2019

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I really don’t care why all 30 teams incorrectly failed to see the value he provides.

  3. Oldbackstop says:

    ..ermmm….I mean, maybe, but since May 17 he has pitched one major league inning and gave up a h ou t with Kobe runs. Over that period he has pitched one more inning than me.

    I’d think there are better storylines out there for your blog than the guy with one IP since May 17….

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Sewald is playing an important role in the bullpen, and I’ll note his pitching last night loomed large tonight as the other arms were fresh tonight when the Mets needed them.

  4. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Just like the value you failed to see in JD Davis and Jason Vargas.

    You tend to focus on the small and then miss the big picture.

    The big picture – Sewald has a career 5.10 era and was DFA’d this season. In the course of his big league career, he’s showed flashes of success, but has also tanked when teams make adjustments. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff.

    I posed a question – How can Sewald improve so he doesn’t suffer the same fate he did previously of declining performance as teams make adjustments? How can he improve so he consistently helps the team when it can ill afford meltdowns down the stretch.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Vargas is a bad pitcher, and you’re putting way too much weight on a Davis hot streak with a completely unsustainable BABIP in your criticism of my correct thought process.

      As for Sewald, I outlined a thorough case showing his value is in eating up innings in bone high leverage spots. He’s always done that well.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        You become fixated on certain players. They’re either good or bad in your mind, and then you double down on the small to support positions you’ve taken that are big picture faulty.

        Have you ever watched Sewald, Davis and Vargas exercise their crafts?

        For example, for Sewald to be successful. he’ll need to be Jason Vargas smart. Vargas has carved out 7 seasons of sub 4.00 era as starter at career 87.1 fastball mph average because he changes speed, mixes pitches and commands them.

        Sewald doesn’t have overpowering stuff. His big league career began well, until teams figured him out. After being DFA’d earlier this season and bumped off the 40 when no one claimed him, he’s getting another chance. The challenge to stick in the majors and be reliable will occur when opponents make adjustments. We need him to be successful in whatever role assigned and fairly used.

        Davis is a quality hitter like he was in the minors. A student of hitting, he strives to improve. He’s passionate, well prepared, very smart, makes in-game, and intra P.A. adjustments, his barrel and hard hit percentages are above average. I think he’s a little tired right now and could use a day or two off.

        In the offseason, I believe he should focus on infield defense, quick release, improving foot speed and continuing to improve his outfield technique. He’s probably going to shuttle next season between infield and outfield and needs to be well prepared with the most efficient defensive mechanics and technique he can muster.

        On offense, I would be very happy with a .275/.350/.500/.850, 30 2B, 20-30 HR passionate perennial.

  5. LongTimeFan says:

    Totally agree last night he pitched well in key spot when needed. I was very happy to see that. We need performances like that from every reliever.

    How does Sewald keep that going when teams start analyzing him since his most recent call up?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m not expecting him to keep doing that

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        This is repost of above which I posted in wrong spot.

        You become fixated on certain players. They’re either good or bad in your mind, and then you double down on the small to support positions you’ve taken that are big picture faulty.

        Have you ever watched Sewald, Davis and Vargas exercise their crafts?

        For example, for Sewald to be successful. he’ll need to be Jason Vargas smart. Vargas has carved out 7 seasons of sub 4.00 era as starter at career 87.1 fastball mph average because he changes speed, mixes pitches and commands them.

        Sewald doesn’t have overpowering stuff. His big league career began well, until teams figured him out. After being DFA’d earlier this season and bumped off the 40 when no one claimed him, he’s getting another chance. The challenge to stick in the majors and be reliable will occur when opponents make adjustments. We need him to be successful in whatever role assigned and fairly used.

        Davis is a quality hitter like he was in the minors. A student of hitting, he strives to improve. He’s passionate, well prepared, very smart, makes in-game, and intra P.A. adjustments, his barrel and hard hit percentages are above average. I think he’s a little tired right now and could use a day or two off.

        In the offseason, I believe he should focus on infield defense, quick release, improving foot speed and continuing to improve his outfield technique. He’s probably going to shuttle next season between infield and outfield and needs to be well prepared with the most efficient defensive mechanics and technique he can muster.

        On offense, I would be very happy with a .275/.350/.500/.850, 30 2B, 20-30 HR passionate perennial.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’ve watched the players, and I’ve reviewed the numbers in depth. It’s why I’m comfortable in assessing them for the players they are.

          Sewald is very good for the last guy in the bullpen mopping up innings. He’s not a good option for a late inning set-up reliever.

          Davis is an okay bat off the bench. However, given his horrid defense and how his current streak is not sustainable, he’s a terrible everyday player.

          Vargas is just a bad fifth starter. It’s why his FIP is 5.39.

          Skew things however you want, but it’s time people assess players in their roles instead of comparing everyone to Mike Trout and Jacob deGrom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *