The Mets have called up left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned infielder T.J. Rivera to make room for him on the active roster.
A former first-round pick, Gilmartin came to the Mets in the Rule 5 draft in 2015. He went on to pitch 57.1 innings of long relief for the Mets en route to a 2.67 ERA and a 2.75 FIP. Mets fans might forget how good he was in 2015 because of how bad he was the next year, when he gave up 14 earned runs over just 17.2 innings pitched. Five of those runs came in a September 24 spot start against the Phillies, during which he walked three and gave up four hits, including a home run, despite only getting two outs.
Because of injuries to Steven Matz and Seth Lugo to start the season, Gilmartin could be an option as a spot starter or injury replacement at some point. Rafael Montero appeared to have the inside track on that role following a very good spring, but with his struggles so far this season, Gilmartin could surpass him if he pitches well.
Gilmartin’s first start in Las Vegas did not go particularly well, as he gave up three runs over 3.1 innings and allowed two home runs. But he did strike out five batters and walk only one, so it wasn’t all bad. Away from the hitter’s haven that is the PCL, he could find some more success.
As for Rivera, it’s unlikely he will stay in the minors for long. At 28 years old, he has nothing left to prove to the big league club, and the Mets have use for his bat and his positional versatility. In just five plate appearances this year, he had two walks and three strikeouts.