For most of the year, the starting pitching of the New York Mets kept them in every game and gave them a chance to win. In the 1st half of the season, Dillon Gee was one of those stalwarts, keeping the opponents’ runs scored low enough to get the Mets a victory before his season was cut short due to injury, which ultimately aided in the Mets 2nd half collapse. 2012 proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Dillon Gee is more valuable than initially realized.
After beginning his Major League career in historical fashion, being the first Mets Rookie ever to go 7-0 to open up a season, Dillon saw his ERA balloon from 2.86 to 4.43, with a 13-6 record at the end of the season. Gee has 4 solid pitches but not 1 or 2 outstanding ones, and he got away from using his whole arsenal in the 2nd half of the 50th season. The 51st season started out similar fashion to the end of 2011 after he made the team as the 5th starter. Dillon was 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA in his first 7 games, bottoming out with a 5 1/3 inning, 7 run performance against the Brew Crew on May 15 at Citi. His last 10 starts, however, were quite possibly the sharpest and most consistent starts of his Major League career. He went 4-4 with a 3.10 ERA, quality start after quality start that lowered his ERA to a 4.10. One could argue that his best stretch is still his first one, but I argue that this one is indubitably more impressive. The book was out on him, and he made the proper adjustments to be not only a serviceable major league starter, but in the last 10 starts, an above-average one. He topped out in his last start of the year, on July 7, with a 8 inning, 1 run performance.
It was then found out, unfortunately, that Dillon had a blood clot in his right shoulder, and eventually had season-ending surgery. Though, in the long-run, it provided an opportunity for Matt Harvey to work his way into the rotation, it immediately threw the 5-man into a tailspin, and the horrors of the post-All-Star Groundhog Day Schedule ensued.
Areas to Improve Upon
As long as all 4 pitches are sharp, experience should only add to his arsenal. Locate his fastball and use both sides of the plate with his off-speed pitches after the first has been established. If Dillon continues on the path he’s on, he should be seen as the glue that holds a rotation together.
How He Did With Facial Hair
Pretty…pretty…pretty good. He started the season off with a sick Jeff-Bagwell-style goatee. Dillon eventually shaved after 2 months, then proceeded to grow a solid short-beard. Who knows what kind of facial hair experimentations this offseason will bring from Dillon Gee. We shall find out in February.
Projected Role in 2013
I would have to say that with Johan Santana‘s uncertainty next year, barring a trade, a healthy Gee should have a spot in the rotation to start the season.
Contract Status/Chances of Being Traded
Dillon is not Arbitration-Eligible until 2014, so he will make the league minimum next year. He won’t have a chance for free agency till 2017. All those items certainly make Gee an interesting candidate for a trade. While he himself won’t get a hefty return, he could potentially be a nice throw-in on a trade for a viable Major League outfielder, or something along those lines. While the cliché goes that you can never have too much starting pitching, the Mets certainly all of a sudden have some depth in that category, and must get creative to field a better ballclub next year.
If Dillon isn’t sacrificed this offseason, I hope we are once again singing his praises in 2013′s review, and that it once again is a season that warrants the use of the word, “indubitably.”
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