2011 was a tale of two pitchers for Dillon Gee. The 25 year-old rookie excited fans in the first half, when he hurled an impressive 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 1.76 K/BB–and even notched 8 Wins. But his second half seemingly spoke more to his talent level, posting a dreary 5.25 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 1.46 K/BB. On the whole, Dee owned a respectable, but hardly awe-inspiring 4.43 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and 1.61 K/BB. Needless to say, Gee’s hold on the fifth rotation spot going into 2012 was one exposing the Mets clear lack of rotation depth as opposed to entitlement.
On the surface so far in 2012, Gee has been closer to that second half pitcher. His 4.50 ERA and 1.34 WHIP seem mediocre, but the right-hander has found excellent control (from 4.0 BB/9 to 2.3 BB/9), and a tick higher dominance (from 6.4 K/9 to 8.2 K/9). In fact, his lofty .326 BABIP and more indicative 3.71 FIP and 3.11 xFIP indicate that Gee has actually improved from 2011.
In addition, four of Gee’s five pitches (his slider, cutter, curveball, and change-up) have resulted in positive RAA–which is world’s better than 2011, when his slider was worth -4.4 RAA, curveball at -6.5 RAA, and change-up at -2.6 RAA. Gee’s ability to go to one of four successful pitches has subsequently made him a heck of a lot harder to hit. The righty has been limiting contact (from 79.8% Contact% to 74.9% Contact%), and simultaneously getting hitters to swing at more pitches (from 9.1% Swinging Strike% to 11.5% Swinging Strike%)–even bad ones (from 32.6% Non-Strike Swing% to 38.7% Non-Strike Swing%).
Dillon Gee isn’t an ace, but if his surface statistics approach his peripherals, he’s hardly just a default fifth starter.