OAKLAND - After being a minor league free agent for about a day over the offseason, left-hander Sean Gilmartin quickly re-signed with the Orioles on a minor league contract on Nov 2. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster and briefly elected to take minor league free agency.
“That’s a good question,” Gilmartin said in the visitor clubhouse today when asked why his free agency was so short. “Obviously, the opportunity here would be better than most places to get back to the big leagues and contribute at the major league level. So that was the driving factor. I was a free agent for less than a day.”
The opportunity he was looking for arrived today when he took the roster spot of David Hess, who was optioned out after yesterday’s game. To get Gilmartin back on the 40-man roster and in the Baltimore bullpen, outfielder Joey Rickard was designated for assignment.
In 17 games with Triple-A Norfolk, Gilmartin was 0-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 36 1/3 innings. He issued 11 walks with 40 strikeouts and a .216 batting average against. He pitched three scoreless innings on Friday and is available tonight if needed. Gilmartin, 29, hasn’t allowed a run in his last four Norfolk appearances covering 9 1/3 innings.
“Not bad,” he said of his Triple-A numbers. “We’ve got a pretty talented team down there. Lot of guys that can play. I think just being able to control the count (was big for me). Knowing the situations you are pitching in and also too familiarity with the hitters you are facing. That always helps.”
It appears the Orioles have really emphasized scouting your opponent on the farm this year and Gilmartin said that helped him.
“There is a lot of information being put forward. In our pre-series meetings that we have, the guys that are doing those and putting together those videos, those spray charts are doing a pretty good job. You can use that information to your advantage,” he said.
Gilmartin saw some time with the 2018 Orioles and went 1-1 with an ERA of 3.00. In 12 games and 27 innings, he walked 11 and fanned 15.
So even though he was not on the 40 or 25-man rosters until today, Gilmartin just kept putting up solid numbers while waiting for his chance.
“I think every time you go out you are looking to put up numbers to get to this level. As long as that is your driving factor and you are going about your business the right way, I think that’s the way to go. You can get caught up in, ‘Why didn’t I get called up?’ Lot of guys go back and forth during the year. You just have to block that out,” he said.