Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oriole #977- Preston Guilmet

In last night's Orioles loss, yet another player made their Orioles debut, and this was the first one of the year that really threw me for a loop. (Well, I guess the late spring trade for INF Steve Lombardozzi could qualify as well.)

Right-handed relief pitcher Preston Guilmet was called up from AAA Norfolk yesterday, and quickly made his Orioles debut last night. He was pretty impressive, and struck out two Tigers over 1.1 innings pitched to finish the game for the O's in a losing cause.

He was drafted by the Indians in the 9th round of the 2009 draft (the O's picked Ryan Berry, who seems to have already washed out of baseball), and made his MLB debut last year for the Indians; he pitched 5.1 innings over 4 games and gave up 6 earned runs for a 10.13 ERA. That might explain why they were willing to trade him to the Orioles on April 7th for infielder Torsten Boss, who was the O's 8th round pick in the 2012 draft.

The post Spring Training trade and subsequent assignment directly to the AAA Norfolk Tides, whom I almost never get to see or get autographs from are the reasons why I didn't have Preston's signature in my collection already. Since the O's added him to their 40-man roster after the trade, I knew that there was a chance he would eventually pitch in Baltimore, but he has very few minor league cards and he doesn't seem to sign TTM requests, so I was stuck.

Once it was announced that Preston was getting the call to Baltimore, I pulled the trigger on this signed card that I bought on ebay. I hope to get an opportunity to get a personalized OMC Orioles card of his signed soon, but this will hold a spot in my collection for the time being.

Preston's minor league numbers over the past five plus seasons have been very encouraging, as he has a 2.71 ERA, 94 saves, and has a strikeout rate of 9.8 over nine innings over 208 appearances, with all 193 of them since 2010 coming out of the bullpen.

It will be interesting to see how long Preston sticks with the Orioles, but with minor league success like he has had along with a strong debut, I wouldn't be surprised to see him settle into a bullpen role with the O's throughout the 2014 season.

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