Blue Jays Claim Preston Guilmet Off Waivers From Pirates
According to Chris Cotillo, the Blue Jays have claimed Preston Guilmet.
Guilmet is a 27 year old right handed reliever who appeared in 10 games for the Orioles in 2014. The Pirates acquired him from the Orioles on October 3 in exchange for cash considerations. He was designated for assignment after the Pirates signed Corey Hart on Dec. 19. If you’re curious about the pronounciation, it’s GIL-mett not GIL-may.
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Guilmet, in a very small 2014 sample, had a low WHIP (0.968), decent FIP (3.91) but had a few poor outings which left him with a poor 5.23 ERA. He struck out 12 batters in 10.1 innings and only walked two. That type of strikeout to walk ratio is not a fluke for Guilmet throughout his minor league career. In the minors he has a 1.9 BB/9 and a 9.8 SO/9. The low WHIP that he posted in the majors is also typical for him. He owns a 1.006 career WHIP in the minors.
Guilmet gets his strikeouts with good control of his low 90’s fastball, splitter and slider. He has an atypical “over-the-top” delivery. In his own words: “(I feature) A three-pitch mix. Kind of throw from a higher arm slot. Usually just try to pound the zone and stay ahead.” It would seem that he is able to accurately self-assess.
Perhaps due to this arm slot, he has displayed reverse splits throughout his major and minor league career. His FIP against left handed batters in the minors is 2.49 and put up a 11.19 SO/9. His FIP against righties in the minors is 2.87 and had a 8.32 SO/9. Guilmet also looks to be able to keep the ball on the ground with a 0.66 GB/FB career in the majors.
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He has served as a closer for most of his minor league career. He figures to compete for that role on the Bisons or he may have a outside shot at making the Jays bullpen. He doesn’t appear to have much more to gain from the minors and has shown signs that he can be effective against major league hitters. The key for Guilmet is find a way to translate the skills that he’s displayed in the minors to the majors. For a depth waiver claim, this looks to be a pretty solid. Guilmet will be heading into his third option year so that will provide the Blue Jays with flexibility. As always, these types of moves are common and carry basically no risk. He’s not the solution to the bullpen and he’s not meant to be. Last year’s Christmas roster move (Kawasaki) was a bit more exciting but this is a run of the mill move with some upside. Remember to evaluate it for what is.