“I know Dillon Gee, if we bring anybody up that’s going to be a starting pitcher, and we have to take somebody out of the rotation and maybe move them to the bullpen, he would be that guy, because I know he can pitch out of the bullpen.”
That is what Terry Collins had to say about Dillon Gee prior to his start against the Yankees in the Subway Series finale just three weeks ago. Coming into that day, Gee was sporting an unsightly ERA of 6.34 after being tattooed for five runs over just five frames earlier that week against the Atlanta Braves. With but a lone quality start on the season and top-prospect Zack Wheeler knocking on the door, Gee’s spot in the rotation was very much in jeopardy.
In his four starts since, the Texas native has gone a combined 29.1 frames allowing just five runs while fanning an astounding 32, that is an ERA of just over 1.50 and an 8.0 SO/BB ratio over that stretch. Despite the tough loss last night, Gee has been fantastic in the past three weeks, and is doing it at just the right time.
With Wheeler debuting later tonight, Terry Collins said he will go with a six-man rotation, however that is not expected to last, meaning either Gee or Jeremy Hefner will likely get the boot from the rotation in the coming weeks. Hefner has had a leg up on this race for some time, pitching to a 2.40 ERA since late May, however Gee’s recent dominance has made this a two-horse race once again.
This year has quickly emerged into an extended audition process for the 2014 season, and with Niese, Harvey and Wheeler likely set atop the rotation for the next several years, both Gee and Hefner are battling to show the organization that they belong in the almighty “plan” on the path to relevance.
While Harvey and Wheeler have been highly touted prospects for their entire professional baseball lives, Hefner and Gee have had to battle at every step of the way to show that they belong. The pair have been conditioned to do so since the day they were drafted.
Now faced with another challenge, both have equally risen to the occasion, making the decision of who to banish to the ‘pen all the more difficult.