Paul Stanton Sewald
Height: 6'3" Weight: 219 lbs.
Bats/Throws: Right / Right
Born: 05/26/1990 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Offseason home: Las Vegas, Nevada
College: University of San Diego
Family: Wife Molly, daughter Chloe
MLB Debut: 04/08/2017
Acquired: Signed as a minor-league free agent (01/08/2021)
Free Agent after: 2024 season
Twitter handle: @ItsPaulSewald
Late bloomer. That's as good a tag as any for Sewald, who toiled for eight years in the Mets' system, signed with the M's before last season as an experimental depth piece, started the year in Triple-A, and finished it as one of the most successful relievers in an outstanding Seattle bullpen. He'd eventually throw 642⁄3 innings for the Mariners, striking out 104 batters and posting a 3.06 ERA and a WHIP barely over 1. It was quite a turnaround for a guy that wondered before the season if it was time to hang up his cleats and go into the family accounting business. Sewald's wife, Molly, talked him into hanging on, "to give it one more year."
Reporting to spring camp with the M's in ’21, Sewald sat down with pitching coach Pete Woodworth, who had studied Sewald's previous outings with the Mets and had some ideas. The big righty tried those ideas out in camp and it didn't go well. "I’d strike out the first guy, give up a homer and then strike out the next guy. I had like a 24 percent strikeout rate, but like a 40.00 ERA. I didn’t really know what I was doing out there." Mostly, according to Woodward, he needed to locate his fastball higher in or above the strike zone. Once that lesson set in, things changed. Starting the year in Tacoma, results were instant. "I pounded the top of the strike zone like 20 times in a row, and guys are swinging through it like I was throwing 140mph. I was almost in shock. I had never blown it by guys like that before." So, at 31 years old, Sewald finally graduated from the minor leagues for good with confidence that he belongs. "I fundamentally changed who I was as a pitcher... I'm a different pitcher now than I've ever been," he said. "Am I going to have the same year as I had last year? I think I can. I don't think there's any reason I shouldn't."