"It all stems off my fastball command," Gilmartin said of his changeup. "If my fastball is where I want it to be any given day, that just makes everything else that much better."
A former first-round Draft pick entering his fifth professional season, Gilmartin landed in the Twins' organization two winters ago following a four-year run with the Braves. He responded with a decent season, posting a 3.71 ERA over two levels.
It was enough for the Mets, impressed by Gilmartin's above-average strikeout-to-walk ratio, to take a $50,000 chance in the Rule 5 Draft. If Gilmartin makes the team, the Mets must keep him on their active roster or disabled list all season, or offer him back to the Twins for $25,000.
But it will not be easy for him to make the club. While the Mets have two spots open at the back end of their bullpen, Dillon Gee is a strong candidate to land one of them, while Rafael Montero could take the other. Veterans Buddy Carlyle and Scott Rice also have eyes on a spot, meaning Gilmartin -- whose 40-man roster status does give him an advantage -- will need to outperform his competition this spring.
"It'll be interesting to see what happens," Gilmartin said. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm always looking for a new challenge. I'm going to accept the challenge and be ready for whatever situation I'll be put into."
As a career starting pitcher, Gilmartin is somewhat wary of converting to the bullpen. But he believes his four-pitch mix can make him successful there, particularly if his changeup is tumbling as it should.
"Coming from the Braves, he looks like the prototypical Braves left-hander," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He works the outside corner to righties very well. He's got a very, very good changeup. He knows how to move the ball around, so we're anxious to see him get out there, and see whether or not he can fit in a different role."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.