One of the top Rule 5 success stories of 2015 is New York Mets left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin. Selected last December from the Minnesota Twins system, Gilmartin earned a spot in the bullpen during spring training and has held his job all year. In 45.2 innings he has a 2.56 ERA, 2.46 FIP, with a 46/14 K/BB and 38 hits allowed. It's a fine season and likely solidifies Gilmartin's hold on a job going forward.
Ah, yes, but what kind of job? He's been great in relief, but could he take a larger role in the future?
Gilmartin was a successful starting pitcher for three years at Florida State University. The Atlanta Braves drafted him in the first round in 2011 with the idea that he would be a strike-throwing starter. The Minnesota Twins traded for him in December 2013 with the idea that he could be a strike-throwing starter. In four minor league campaigns in the Braves and Twins systems he made 79 starts and one relief appearance.
Despite his college success and first round pedigree, Gilmartin was inconsistent in the minors and struggled with nagging injuries, particularly an elbow issue. He did not live up to Atlanta or Minnesota's expectations, which was why he was available under Rule 5.
On the surface would make sense for the Mets to just keep him in the bullpen since the conversion went well and he's avoided physical troubles in this role. On the other hand, unlike the stereotypical reliever Gilmartin has a variety of pitches, using a fastball, slider, curve, and change-up. If he stays healthy perhaps you could get 170 quality innings out of him rather than just 50?
What do you think, Mets fans (or anyone else who has seen Gilmartin pitch this year)? If Gilmartin is past the nagging injuries, would you give him a chance as a starter? Or is it best to leave well-enough alone and keep him in the pen?