Righty reliever Paul Sewald signed a minor league deal with the Mariners about a year ago. On May 13th, when his contract was selected by the club, the promotions of Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert got all the headlines. Little did we know, Sewald would become one of the year’s best stories. From the point of Sewald’s season debut on May 16th, he’d go on to lead all MLB relievers in strikeouts by a wide margin, with 104 in 64 2/3 innings. Among relievers with at least 60 innings on the season, Sewald’s 39.4 K% ranked second in baseball.
Born in Las Vegas, Sewald was drafted in the 10th round by the Mets out of the University of San Diego in 2012. He made his big league debut against the Marlins at Citi Field on April 8th, 2017. Sewald logged 147 1/3 relief innings for the Mets before landing with the Mariners.
Deploying a sweeping slider, elevated fastballs, and a deceptive delivery, Sewald ascended to the top of the pecking order in the Mariners’ bullpen by August. Sewald pitched in 19 of the Mariners’ last 32 games as they pushed for a playoff spot, always in the highest-leverage situations. Sewald’s breakout 2021 season included 10 wins, a 3.06 ERA, 104 strikeouts, 11 saves, and 16 holds. He’s slated to hold a prominent role in Seattle’s pen again in ’22.
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