I read a comment this morning in our threads from one reader asking another why he left out Gee in his projected 2014 rotation. In addition to MMO, I spend a lot of time reading comment threads at MetsBlog and on other Mets Forums and I see that a lot. Mostly I see future Mets rotation projections looking a lot like this:
Despite his incredible success at Double-A Binghamton, I’m not so sure that Syndergaard will be here before September of next year. He still has work to do on his secondary pitches and I’m sure the Mets will look to create some separation between these pitchers and not have them all here within a year of each other. That would mean having to deal with four arbitration cases and four pending free agency situations all within a two season span.
If all four of these pitchers hit their ceilings, will the Mets have almost a half a billion dollars to keep all four of them? Taking a page out of Cerrone’s playbook yesterday, four years from now will the Mets be able to allot 60% of their payroll budget on four pitchers and 80% when you include David Wright?
Anyway, I digress…
There seems to be an overall lack of respect for what Dillon Gee has accomplished since joining the Mets in 2010 and posting a 2.18 ERA in his first five starts. He followed that up by winning his first seven decisions in 2011 on his way to a 13-6 season as the Mets number five starter. Tragedy struck in 2012 when he lost sensation in his fingers and an examination would discover a blood clot in his right arm. Surgery to repair the artery in his arm would follow, wiping out the rest of his season. He was in the midst of his best season yet setting career highs with an 8.0 K/9, 3.4 BB/K, 1.24 WHIP and a 2.4 BB/9.
It took a while for Gee to get his groove back once he returned in spring training and was back in the rotation to start the season. The cold weather wreaked havoc with him as it did with fellow teammate Jon Niese, but by the time May rolled around, the Gee we saw in 2011 and 2012 was back. In fact, this new Gee is even better. In 15 starts since May 30, Gee has allowed two earned runs or less 12 times and his 3.5 strikeout-to-walk-ratio is back to where it was before the surgery. During this 15 game span, Gee has a 2.27 ERA which ranks third in the league behind elite pitchers Jose Fernandez and Clayton Kershaw.
“He’s been outstanding,” Terry Collins said about Dillon Gee. “Once he got over that forearm thing, he’s been outstanding. He’s been the Dillon Gee we know.”
Gee now has nine wins, matching Harvey for the team lead and in his 25 starts this season he has a 3.60 ERA, while striking out 114 and walking 39 batters through 152.2 innings.
His changeup, which has always been a plus pitch going back to the minor leagues, is now among the best changeups in the game. He confounds opposing batters with his ability to spot his pitches and change speeds and has limited them to a .276 OPS in his last 15 starts. His 13 career starts are already a career high and he’s racked up 12 of them in this span.
Gee is coming off a gem on Monday, when he allowed one unearned run on six hits and a walk while striking out nine in 7.1 innings against the Twins.
He doesn’t seem to get much respect and all too often I see him being excluded when the discussion is about projecting future Mets rotations… Why?
He’s exactly what a team comprised mostly of fire-ballers needs. Gee is that change of pace pitcher that throws opposing teams out of whack. He shouldn’t be discounted simply because he doesn’t get his fastball up to the high-nineties. Many pitchers have had great success without high-octane velocity.