It was just a quick look, and didn’t come in the best of situations, but Preston Guilmet’s brief major league debut left a lasting impression on many, including Indians manager Terry Francona.
“He had a lot of guts,” Francona said of the minor league reliever who made his big league debut Wednesday against Toronto. “I asked (Indians bullpen coach Kevin) Cash how he warmed up and (Cash) said (Guilmet) warmed up like a major leaguer. He came in and was supposed to keep the ball down with some deception, and that’s exactly what he did.”
Guilmet relieved starter Justin Masterson in the seventh inning, with the Blue Jays looking to build on a 2-1 lead with two outs and two men in scoring position at second and third.
But Guilmet quelled the threat by striking out Munenori Kawasaki to end the threat and then started the eighth by coaxing Jose Reyes into a ground out before Francona turned the game over to Vinnie Pestano.
“(Guilmet’s) a kid whose had to work real hard every step of the way to get up here because he doesn’t overwhelm you with stuff,” Francona said. “When we sent him down, I said, ‘Just keep doing what you do.’ It would not shock me in the least bit to see him back up here helping us win games.”