St. Louis Cardinals claim LHP Sean Gilmartin on waivers

Veteran lefty Sean Gilmartin is now a part of the Cardinals organization after a waiver claim.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Sunday afternoon that they’ve acquired lefthanded reliever Sean Gilmartin on a waiver claim from the New York Mets.

Gilmartin, who was immediately optioned to Triple-A Memphis, had been designated for assignment earlier Sunday by the Mets as they created room for the activation of righthander Seth Lugo from the 60-day disabled list. Obviously they’d been preparing for the move several days in advance, as the waiver claim was announced within hours of the Mets’ move to DFA him.

The 27-year-old Gilmartin is a pitcher who profiles similarly to Cardinals swingman Tyler Lyons, having spent most of his time in the minor leagues as a starter but most of his time in the majors as a reliever.

Gilmartin has started eight games this season for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, posting a 7.05 ERA with a 1.78 WHIP, 31 strikeouts, and 14 walks. While the ERA and WHIP look really bad, it must be noted that the 51s’ home park, Cashman Field, is arguably the most favorable hitter’s environment in professional baseball. Consider the fact that even a dominant pitcher like Noah Syndergaard had a 4.60 ERA and 1.48 WHIP there over 26 starts in 2014.

Gilmartin has also made two relief appearances in the majors this season, allowing five runs on eight hits (including two homers) and a walk over 3 1/3 innings. Over 66 career big-league appearances, including two starts, Gilmartin has a 4.14 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 69 strikeouts, and 26 walks in 78 1/3 innings.

The addition of Gilmartin provides the Cardinals more depth in an area that was arguably their deepest: lefthanded relief. The three lefty relievers who are currently on the 25-man roster–Lyons, Brett Cecil, and Kevin Siegrist–have all underperformed this season. But most of the Cardinals’ most attractive internal relief options–including Marco Gonzales, Ryan Sherriff, and Corey Littrell–are lefties.

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His acquisition is basically a harmless lottery ticket for the Cardinals, who have a ton of 40-man roster space to play with; they only had 37 players on the 40-man prior to the waiver claim, and righthander Alex Reyes is currently on the 10-day disabled list after having Tommy John surgery and could be moved to the 60-day list at any point without repercussions.

After the most recent election cycle, Gilmartin may be less well-known than his fiancée, as he is engaged to conservative CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany.