Paul Sewald
How the hell did Paul Sewald become a stud? The ghost of Mets past has suddenly become one of the best relievers in baseball overnight. (Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

How The Hell Did Paul Sewald Become Good?

New York Met fans will tell you that Paul Sewald sucks. Luckily, few of them don’t stay up late to watch Seattle Mariner games because that is no longer the case. Time and time again, Sewald failed with the Mets but has completely reinvented himself in 2021. The question is, how the hell did a total bum turn into a rockstar?

In four-plus years with the Mets, Sewald notched an ERA of 5.50. Met fans screamed for the clouds to get this guy off the roster and rightfully so. The real question is, why in the world did the Mets take so long to get rid of him.

A guy that looked like he belonged in A ball has turned into a star. Do we chalk that up to relievers being chameleons from year to year? There is evidence that suggests Sewald took the Mets departure to heart and changed his game after signing with Seattle.

In 2021, Sewald has an ERA of 2.30, FIP of 1.68, and 15.5 K per 9 rate. Overnight, the right hander has become one of the best relievers in baseball. The same Sewald the got booed in New York. The same Sewald that didn’t even make the Mariners opening day roster.

Two things have helped Sewald become the stud he’s become. First, he’s more athletic in the delivery.

Paul Sewald
(MLB Network)

Athletes bend their knees. You can see a year ago, Sewald is way more upright and probably not as explosive delivering the ball to the mound. Pitching isn’t a perfect science because even the craziest shit works sometimes. It’s all about deceiving hitters. However, it’s clear and obvious and more explosive knee bend has done wonders.

Paul Sewald
(MLB Network)

Additionally, Sewald has really lowed his release point, or the point where the ball leaves his hand. Call it the Craig Kimbrel effect. Sewald decreased his release point from 4.71 inches to 4.51 inches. That doesn’t seem like a large number but the photo tells a big difference. Baseball is a game of fractions. Even the smallest of tweaks goes a long way.

In reality, it’s a big number giving hitters one less of a moment to pick up the baseball coming out of his hand. The less amount of time the hitter has to pick up the ball, the better. It’s weird how just something so small like that could make the difference, but it does.

As if the Mets didn’t have enough to deal with based on their history. Somehow a horrendous bullpen arm leaves New York and turns into a stud. I’ll be the first to admit, I thought Sewald had nothing but he’s been fantastic in the Pacific Northwest.

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