Home run allowed to Harper was left-hander's only mistake in spring debut
By Glenn Sattell
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets left-hander Sean Gilmartin must remain flexible in his role with the pitching staff. In two seasons with the Mets, Gilmartin has appeared in 64 games, starting two. But he must remain mentally prepared to do whatever work he's called upon to do.
The need for left-handed help in the bullpen could work to his advantage, but the Mets are also looking for lefty depth in the starting rotation as well.
"I just try to approach it like I did last year," Gilmartin said. "I think that's kind of going to be my role, bouncing around doing different things. Whatever they need me to do, I'll be ready to do it. I'm ready for whatever comes at me."
Gilmartin was the starting pitcher on Saturday in the Mets' Grapefruit League home opener at First Data Field. He worked two innings and made just one bad pitch. It was an 0-1 changeup to Washington slugger Bryce Harper, who blasted it well beyond the right-center-field fence, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead in the second inning en route to an 8-6 Nats win.
"It was supposed to be on the outside part of the plate," Gilmartin said. "My changeup kind of fades down and in to a left-handed hitter anyway. It just kind of faded too much towards the middle of the plate, and he put a pretty good swing on it. That's what good hitters do."
Aside from that, Gilmartin retired the other six batters he faced in impressive fashion while still working on the basics.
"First outing of the spring, it's basically trying to mix in all four of my pitches," Gilmartin said. "Working off the fastball, trying to get ahead early, I think I was able to do that pretty effectively today.
"My main goal was to get ahead [with] first-pitch strikes. So I'm pretty happy with how that went about."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.