Despite not pitching in high leverage situations right-hander Paul Sewald had played an important role in the 2018 New York Mets bullpen and a big reason for that has been his dominance of left-handed hitters.
Lefties crushed Sewald in his first big league experience last year hitting .290/.385/.441 off him in 111 plate appearances.
Sewald’s main weapon to get right-handers out was and always has been his slider, a pitch that lefties hit well last year. The 27-year-old Sewald knew this and went into the offseason focusing on adding a third pitch according to Tim Britton of the Athletic.
The new grip is working and Sewald is throwing his changeup more in 2018 (8.1%) than he did in 2017 (3.6). Opponents have yet to get a hit off the changeup this season.
Sewald’s confidence in the new grip is growing, ““I feel really confident with it. It’s had a lot of success starting in spring training. Ultimately, having success with it is giving me a lot of confidence with it. Now I feel I can throw it when I want to and in bigger situations. It’s kept guys on their heels.”
The deceptive righty has been fantastic overall this season with a 1.74 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 10.1 innings though what really jumps out is that lefties are 0-for-13 with six strikeouts against him.
He has also saved the bullpen on multiple occasions with four of his five outings going at least two innings.