STEAMER projections have Paul Sewald pitching well in 2023

Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Mariners had one of the best bullpens in baseball in 2022. Between upstarts, surprises, flamethrowers, and elite sliders, it made for a rough go for anyone coming up to the plate to face the Mariners bullpen. Andres Munoz had the best stuff, but Paul Sewald has been their frontman over the last two seasons.

After taking part in a closer by committee in 2021, Paul Sewald vaulted to the top of dominant relievers in baseball after tallying a 14.47 K/9 across 64.2 innings, racking up a 1.4 fWAR. That's a really high mark for a pitcher.

2022 was pretty darn good also. His ERA and xERA both went down, while his SV (I'm not a fan of that stat, by the way) went up. his fWAR went down, but he was just as dominant. He did get lucky with a .158 BABIP, so it makes sense to see for STEAMER to call for an increase in some of his counting stats.

2021 - 64.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 1.021 WHIP, 1.4 fWAR, 14.47 K/9, .254 BABIP
2022 - 64.0 IP, 2.67 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 0.766 WHIP, 0.5 fWAR, 10.13 K/9, .158 BABIP
STEAMER - 67 IP, 3.54 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.149 WHIP, 0.5 fWAR, 10.63 K/9, .277 BABIP

To me, if he can keep the WHIP down, he is going to be really good again. I had forgotten just how dominant he was in 2022 at keeping runners off the bases. Some of that comes from the low BABIP, but he has shown in 2021 as well that he can keep a low WHIP. A high BABIP could easily change things, but I think we see something of a mix of 2021 and 2022.

2022 K rate. 2022 closer role. 2021 ERA. 2021 WHIP.

If that's what he ends up with, then we should all be pretty darn happy with 2023 for Sewald. If he ends up with the STEAMER projection numbers, I think the Mariners are still in a good place.