2011 Season in Review: Dillon Gee

The New York Mets as a whole went 77-85 in 2011. As suggested by the sub-par record, there were a fair share of ups and downs throughout the season. “2011 Season in Review,” which will be an on-going series, will analysis every single Mets player that picked up a ball or glove in 2011, for better or worse. This particular “2011 Season in Review” will take a look at starting pitcher Dillon Gee.

When Dillon Gee was recalled on April 17, few people expected much out of the 25 year-old pitcher. Gee was in the midst of his third season at Triple-A, and had posted a 4.63 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 1.60 K/BB. And it’s not as if he dominated in Triple-A the season before either (4.96 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 4.02 K/BB). However, with Chris Young predictably going down with injury, the Mets needed a substitute. Enter Dillon Gee.

Gee’s first two starts were great, combining for 2 Wins, 11.6 innings, 2.31 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 3.00 K/BB. Then, after a rocky stint in the bullpen, the right-hander was officially placed in the rotation for good. But “good” doesn’t properly describe how well Gee pitched. The rookie had a perfect 7-0 record until June 21, owning a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 2.22 K/BB.

However, soon after losing his first game, the formerly triumphant Gee posted slumped mightily. The pitcher surrendered a dismal 5.51 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and 1.32 K/BB in his remaining 94.6 innings. Overall, Gee posted a 4.43 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and 1.61 K/BB in 160.6 innings in 2011. The Mets have to be pleased with his rookie season, but unless Gee somehow repeats his incredible first half, people should expect a steep regression.

Despite being labeled as a “command” pitcher, Gee had a pretty mediocre 1.61 K/BB. In fact, his 6.4 K/9 was league average, and 4.0 BB/9 was less so. From a peripheral standpoint, the righty owns a seemingly unsustainable .270 BABIP, yet on that same token, has a spitting image 4.43 ERA vs. 4.46 xFIP. One of Gee’s biggest appeals as a starter is his five-pitch repertoire, including a newly-integrated cutter. However, only two of his five pitches were worth significant RAA’s (his fastball at 4.4 RAA and cutter at 3.7 RAA). Gee’s slider (-4.3 RAA), curveball (-6.1 RAA), and change-up (0.2 RAA) didn’t fare too well against opposing hitters.

Considering Dillon Gee’s moderate success in his first season, there’s a good chance the Mets will hand him a rotation slot in 2012. Yet without any true out-pitch or much velocity (his average fastball was 89.8 MPH), Gee will have to work on his control in order to ever be a decent starter in the Major Leagues.

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