Paul Sewald, RHP
Player Data: Age: 28, B/T: R/R
Basic Stats: 46 G, 56.1 IP, 58 K, 6.07 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 9.90 H/9, 1.28 HR/9, 9.27 K/9, 3.67 BB/9
Advanced Stats: -1.0 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR, 4.23 FIP, 4.67 xFIP, 61 ERA+
Free Agency: 2024
2019 Salary: Pre-Arb Eligible
Paul Sewald, who had a much more respectable 4.55 ERA and 3.74 FIP in 2017, had a very disappointing 2018 season, pitching 46 games in the Majors and seven in the minors. He actually got off to a very good start, posting a 1.98 ERA through March and April. He followed that up with a very mediocre May in which he struggled to a 5.29 ERA in 17.0 innings.
Instead of rebounding back to his April form, his season completely fell apart after that. He limped to an 8.64 ERA in June, 9.00 in July (in only 3.0 innings), 8.31 in August, and 9.53 in September and October, while also spending some time in Las Vegas.
After Sewald showed promise in 2017 and early 2018, it was disappointing to see him fall off so hard. Part of his struggles could have been a result of Mickey Callaway using him too often early on in the season. There also could have been some bad luck involved, as his 4.23 FIP was not nearly as bad his 6.07 ERA. He still posted very solid strikeout and walk rates. While this doesn’t completely excuse his struggles, it does provide hope that he’s not this bad and will improve in the future.
After his struggles last year, Sewald should no longer be a lock for the bullpen as he appeared to be after his solid debut. He could still play a role on the 2019 team, but he’s really going to have to earn it and prove to the Mets that he is a quality option.
Sewald is a nice story, and he does strike out over a batter an inning while keeping his walks manageable. He shouldn’t be written off, but his 2018 performance simply won’t cut it. He may or may not make the Opening Day roster depending on how his spring goes and how many relievers the Mets sign in the offseason. Barring a major injury, however, it’s hard to see him not pitching for the Mets at all in 2019. He is a decent bounce back candidate for next season.