After acquiring left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins for Matt den Dekker, as well as Alex Torres for Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later, the role of Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin became somewhat less clear. With three left-handed relievers in camp and two of them assured spots on the Opening Day roster, will Gilmartin end up the odd man out?
According to Adam Rubin, Terry Collins has indicated that he believes Gilmartin will make the team, meaning the Mets will break camp with three lefties in the pen to start the season. Given that recent acquisition Alex Torres has a modest reverse-platoon split, it is unlikely his role would overlap considerably with Gilmartin's, making Blevins his main competition for the LOOGY role.
Gilmartin has had a bit of a rough spring overall, with an ERA of 5.19 over 8.2 innings of work. His 11-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio and eight hits allowed over this stretch isn't particularly awe-inspiring from a relief pitcher. However, looking at his performance specifically against left-handed hitters this spring paints a slightly different picture. In an admittedly small sample of 4.2 innings pitched against lefties, Gilmartin has given up a .176 batting average against, while striking out eight and walking only three. These numbers are largely in line with Gilmartin's Double-A and Triple-A splits last year, where he posted an impressive composite 9.95 K/9 and 0.81 BB/9 while giving up no home runs and only a .201 batting average against.
If Gilmartin can pitch at that level with the Mets, he should have no problem carving out a spot for himself as the lefty specialist for the 2015 squad.