Chris Flexen And Paul Sewald Thrived Away From Mets
In what might’ve been his last start of the season, Chris Flexen picked up his 14th win of the year. Now, there are better ways to adjudge pitchers, but those 14 wins is good for fifth best in all of baseball.
Overall, he had a good year. In 30 starts, he was 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, and a 6.4 K/9. He averaged 5.2 innings per start with a 114 ERA+ and a 3.82 FIP.
Overall, Flexen had a very good year, and he appears poised to build on this. With his being under team control through 2026, the Seattle Mariners have a solid rotation arm as they emerge from this rebuild.
The Mariners also have a closer. Paul Sewald has been a great closer for the Mariners. In 58 appearances, he is 9-3 with 11 saves, a 2.83 ERA, 1.011 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, and a 14.6 K/9.
Flexen and Sewald are a big reason why the Mariners are in the postseason picture. Frankly, they are two pitchers who would help any of the 30 Major League teams make the postseason.
The Mariners were smart to pounce on the opportunity to sign them. They look like geniuses for taking former low round picks and got the most out of their talent.
The Mets? Well, again, they look bad here.
The Mets had Flexen and Sewald, and they just gave them away for nothing. They sent Flexen to Korea. Sewald was a straight DFA making him a free agent.
Flexen was unnecessarily rushed to the majors after just seven Double-A starts. He was bounced between the minors and majors and starting and relieving. He’d make an emergency relief appearance not long after a start and then not pitch for nearly two weeks.
Unlike Flexen, Sewald had occasional flashes of brilliance. That was his downfall in the Terry Collins ride the hot hand guide to managing.
One day, he’d be in a pressure spot. In another, he’d pitch three innings in long relief. He’d pitch multiple days in a row and then struggle. Then, he’d be punished and benched.
Mostly due to their usage and how their development wasn’t prioritized, Flexen and Sewald never had a chance with the Mets. No one could really succeed with how they were treated, and as a result, they failed.
Notably, this season especially, Mets pitchers are thriving elsewhere. Steven Matz is also having a good year. While his struggles were different in nature, they were similarly something which could’ve been rectified with the Mets.
You see, far too often, people want to brush players succeeding elsewhere as they couldn’t handle New York. Certainly, this is something which does occur, but it happens far less frequently than people believe.
This isn’t can succeed in New York. It’s can’t succeed with the Mets. That’s a Mets problem and not a player problem.
Some of the culprits are gone from the organization. Jeremy Hefner appears well poised to put the Mets in position to not allow these mistakes to happen again.
As the Mets organization continues to overturn and build, they need an eye towards how to build the best possible organization for players to thrive. Part of that is adapting new practices learned from other places.
Seeing Flexen and Sewald, it’s also taking a look at the Mets previous regime. They need to learn how the Mets were so successful locating these overlooked talents and getting them to the majors. They also need to see how they can make sure they have this success in Flushing.