In the wake of Friday night’s bullpen-taxing loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles called up 28-year-old left-hander Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Norfolk to deepen the bullpen for Saturday’s day-night doubleheader.
Left-handed reliever Donnie Hart was optioned to make room for him on the 25-man roster. Gilmartin made his Orioles debut in the first game Saturday, allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings.
Gilmartin produced a solid 2015 season as a middle reliever for the New York Mets after being taken in the Rule 5 draft in December 2014. He appeared in 50 games, going 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA and has a combined 3-3 record and 4.14 ERA over parts of three seasons with the Mets.
He was signed as a free agent by the Orioles on July 13 after he was released out of the St. Louis Cardinals farm system. He was 4-2 with a 4.66 ERA in 24 games with Triple-A Memphis and was 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA in seven appearances with the Tides.
Mullins said he did not ask for a change and manager Buck Showalter said that he didn’t order it, so it apparently is the work of Jones, who has been mentoring Mullins since spring training.
Hall of Fame ceremony
Brian Roberts and Fred Manfra were inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in an on-field ceremony before the second game of the doubleheader. Each met with reporters Friday and spoke glowingly about honor.
Manfra said it is particularly thrilling to be going in with Roberts.
“It’s such a pleasure to go in with Brian Roberts,’’ Manfra said. “I had the great opportunity to broadcast just about every Brian Roberts game, because from the time he came to the time he left for those dreaded Yankees I had the opportunity to broadcast Brian.
“What Brian accomplished in his career was just sensational. … What Brian Roberts accomplished off the field and still accomplishes off the field is even greater than what he did as an Oriole on the field. He’s a great example of what professional athletes should be in their communities.”
Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Boog Powell, Brady Anderson, Scott McGregor, Tippy Martinez, Mike Bordick, Rick Dempsey and Richie Bancells were among the Orioles Hall of Famers to take part in the ceremony.
Villar at shortstop
The second game of a doubleheader usually affords a manager the opportunity to rest some players and play a bit looser with his starting lineup, which Showalter did to a limited extent Saturday evening.
The most noticeable lineup change involved recently acquired infielder Jonathan Villar, who has played every day at second base since he came over in the Jonathan Schoop deal at the nonwaiver trade deadline.
Showalter speculated at the time that Villar would be the everyday second baseman, but would show up at shortstop on occasion. That occasion just arrived for the first time.
Villar was also moved into the second slot in the batting order for the first time after appearing as the leadoff hitter seven times in his first nine games as an Oriole. He batted third in the other two games.
It’ll be hard to connect any dots with the move, since he has showed up at shortstop in the nightcap of a doubleheader, but it’s hard not to wonder if Showalter is pondering a change with Tim Beckham struggling mightily at the position.
The bad with the good
Rookie reliever Evan Phillips’ Oriole Park debut Friday night didn’t go very well, but he said he was thrilled to get the opportunity.
“It gave me chills running out to the mound running out to the mound for the first time here at Camden Yards,’’ he said. “Obviously, I wish the outing would have gone a little bit better. I started off well I think, but walking Brock Holt and hitting Steve Pearce really set myself behind the eight-ball, with guys like [Jackie] Bradley [Jr.] and [Mookie] Betts coming up in the order.
“I thought I made mostly good pitches and I’ll try to build on that.”
Phillips debuted for the Orioles in Texas and pitched two perfect innings. He has struggled in his other two appearances.
So, does a young pitcher learn more from the good outings or the bad ones?
“Actually both of them are what you’re going to experience up here, so you’ve got to pull something out of both of them,’’ Showalter said. “Mistakes get so punctuated here. The eighth-hole hitter’s got 20 home runs sometimes. That’s one of the big differences between the National League and the American League and not because we’re playing the Red Sox.”
Mark Trumbo’s 12-game hitting streak came to an end in the first game. He went 0 for 4 and failed to set a new career high. He did not start the second game, but came on to pinch hit in the eighth inning and walked...The start of the second game was delayed 20 minutes because of threatening weather.
Long before Cedric Mullins became the Orioles' center fielder of the future — let alone the first in what they hope is a wave of blossoming young talent to join a team that desperately needs it — there was an exchange that stuck with the dynamic, then-junior college outfielder.