Could Paul Sewald finally get an All Star nod?
In honor of Paul Sewald's time with the Mariners, for every upgrade to paid subscription I will donate $5 to Sewald's Strikeouts for Kids!
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images
Way back in 2021, I was still writing for Sodo Mojo, the Fansided site covering the Mariners. My very first article was on a funky throwing righthander from the Mets organization, a pitcher I wholeheartedly believed in as the closer of the future.
Paul Sewald has been a consistent part of the Seattle bullpen for the better part of three seasons, a central piece of one of the best units in baseball. The midsummer classic is being held at T-Mobile Park in July, and Sewald deserves to be there more than anybody.
Sewald was largely unknown and mostly a failure at the big league level when he arrived in Peoria before the 2021 season. A failed starter in New York, the right-hander received a minor league invite to Mariners camp.
A few tweaks to his repertoire spearheaded by the Mariners pitching development team, landed him a spot in the bullpen by May of 2021, and he hasn’t looked back.
The changes he made were simple and effective. Drop your arm slot, throw your fastball at the top of the zone, and throw a sweeping slider. That same formula has been used over and over again, and nobody has figured it out.
His fastball doesn’t appear to be anything spectacular, as it may touch 94 on a good day. He wins with an excellent ride on the fastball at the top of the zone, combined with devastating slider movement.
Since 2021 Paul Sewald ranks 20th among all relievers in fWAR with 2.7. Among the relievers in the top 20, Sewald’s 12.33 K/9 ranks sixth. While he isn’t a traditional closer, he ranks 16th in all of baseball during this time period with 43 saves.
As dominant as he has been on the mound, the 33-year-old has been an even better leader and ambassador for Seattle baseball. Sewald is a great teammate in my experience around the clubhouse and is consistently friendly to media, teammates, and everyone involved.
The former San Diego Torero and his wife Molly have started donating money for every strikeout he generated throughout the course of the season, even doubling their efforts before the 2023 season. Sewald’s Strikeouts 4 Kids is a great cause and another way he has assimilated himself into the community in Seattle.
As kind as he is off the field, Sewald exudes confidence and intensity on the mound. His fire and passion only add to the feeling a fan gets when the Mariners win a baseball game, when Paul Sewald is on the mound things feel different.
This year has been a particularly impressive one for the 33-year-old reliever. After two seasons of dominance, his Baseball Savant page shows an even more dominant version in 2023.
I was openly and admittedly worried about Sewald heading into the season, especially coming off of a rough Spring Training and surgery on both heels and elbow. Just as he has always done in Seattle, he has been reliable, and absolutely dominant.
The All-Star Game is at T-Mobile Park this July, and perhaps the most deserving Mariner is Sewald. He exemplifies Seattle baseball over the last three seasons. Even in a stacked American League reliever pool, he deserves to be recognized.
It’s time for Paul Sewald to pitch as an All-Star.
(With all yearly or VIP subscriptions I will donate $5 to Sewald’s Strikeouts for Kids! Additionally, the first three paid subscribers will get a signed Paul Sewald card with their subscription!)
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