Adam Rubin posted a great article on Dillon Gee that I would encourage all of you to read. In it, Gee talks about a number of issues both on and off the field including his ordeal with the blocked artery that endangered his health and career.
When asked to share his experience rehabbing from emergency surgery to address a 96 percent blockage of an artery that supplied blood to his pitching arm, Gee said:
“Last year I told myself every day that I was going to be fine. And the doctors told me I was going to be fine,” Gee says. “But there’s always that little bit of uncertainty when you start playing catch and then you go into the season.”
Gee, 27, was the recipient of the 2013 Thurman Munson Award for his charitable work with the children of 9/11 victims. He and his wife Kari Ann recently welcomed their first son Hudson in November.
The Mets righthander was rewarded in arbitration last month and will see his salary rise from $527,375 in 2013 to $3.625 million for the 2014 season.
I love the Dillon Gee story… He comes back from a career threatening blood clot that required arterial surgery and delivers a solid campaign in which he led the team in wins while posting a career best 3.64 ERA and 2.1 BB/9.
He got off to a rusty start in April, but got progressively better as the season wore on and posted some of the best second half numbers in the National League with a 2.74 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and an opposing .280 on-base percentage.
Gee symbolizes what the Mets have been trying to do over the last several seasons and that is to throw strikes and command the zone. He shows that you don’t necessarily need a 98 mph fastball to succeed as long as you can spot your pitches and change speeds the way he does.
Gee is as close to a keeper as one could get, and with all the fireballers expected to pack this rotation by 2015, the Mets are going to need a pitcher like Gee who offers a different look that will only enhance his rotation-mates’ performances and confound opposing teams.
Expect an even better season from Gee in 2014 who has lifted himself from a number five starter to somewhere in the top three spots.
With his health issues behind him (as his numbers have shown), look for Gee to give the team 200 or more innings this season. He is not a power pitcher, but his fastball looks better when his change-up and breaking balls are working.
Gee has already won 13 games (2011) and 12 (last year), so with a little run support and an improved bullpen it is conceivable that he could be a 15-game winner. He has become an integral part of the Mets rotation, and his career performance has quieted his detractors who saw him as a spot starter when he first arrived. Gee is a hell of a lot more than that.
(Photo courtesy of Dillon Gee)