As our focus on the mound continues, we will take a look back at what Dillon Gee did during the 2013 campaign. During the 2012 year Gee pitched until the All-Star Break, but was hampered by a blood clot, and was forced to miss the rest of 2012 due to that injury.
How He Did On the Mound
With many question marks coming in and how he would recover from the blood clot, Gee took the ball the third game of the season against the San Diego Padres and did very well, going 6.1, striking out four and only allowing one run. Although his first outing of the year was a good one, Gee struggled after that for the rest of April and most of the month of May.
For the rest of April he was shelled and only was able to go at least six innings only one more time, that being in his final start. In Philadelphia and Colorado, he was not even able to make it five, and was undone by the long ball in those games. At the end of April his ERA stood at an unimpressive 5.96.
At the beginning of May, Gee looked like he was not improving, having starts where he went either only four or five innings. After a start against the Braves, Gee’s ERA was at 6.34. For a guy who doesn’t always strike out a lot of hitters, Gee pitched to a lot of contact but through many hittable pitches leading to many early exits. With only a hand full of quality starts, Gee looked like he could be the odd man out in the rotation. The impending call-up of Wheeler would most likely make the Mets send a pitcher down, and Gee and Jeremy Hefner were the likely candidates. Gee struggled the most and looked like he would be the one. But then May 30th happened.
Looking to take the sweep of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, an inconsistent Gee took the ball during the fourth and final game. In that game Gee went 7.1 strong innings, striking out 12 Yankees and walking none. Terry Collins inexplicably took him out after just 88 pitches, but regardless, he had a fantastic evening in the Bronx.
That game looked like the turning point in his season as after that Gee really became one of the Mets’ most consistent pitchers. Each of the next three months Gee posted an ERA near two, something he was not close to doing the first two months. By the end of the season he had a solid 1.281 WHIP and finished with a 12-11 record. Gee became one of the workhorses in the rotation and went just one inning shy of the 200 inning mark. After a slow start Gee seemed to put it all together, and was one of the biggest upsides of 2013.
Areas To Improve Upon
While Gee did pitch a solid 2013, he can look to better himself in some areas. The one glaring problem with Gee is that when he can’t locate his pitches, they tend to leave the ballpark. When he has an off game, it seems like he has trouble getting back into any rhythm. He gave up 24 longballs, a pretty high number for a guy to give up while pitching many of his games at Citi Field. While his strikeout rate will probably never go much past 150, Gee should work on consistently locating his off speed pitches. When his changeup is on, he can get the strikeout as well as many ground ball outs. When he hangs that changeup, the ball flies way out of the ballpark. So for Gee, locating his pitches better and working on limiting the home run ball will be key.
Projected Role in 2014
If Matt Harvey was in the rotation, Gee would most likely be the fourth or fifth starter. Now that we know Harvey will take the Tommy John Surgery, Gee’s role will jump in stature. After a strong second half in 2013, I’d expect Gee to move into the third starter’s slot behind Niese and Zack Wheeler. Sandy Alderson described Gee as one of the only three pitchers he can count on for 2014, so his role will be vital to the Mets’ success next season, unless the Mets decide to shop him…
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
Gee’s contract is not a problem for the 2014 season and as of right now will be back with the organization. While the contract is not an issue, the trade rumors have surrounded Gee for the past few weeks. His name has been thrown in for possible trades that would bring in players like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The Mets appear very reluctant to trade their vast, young pitching talent from the farm system, so Gee could be one of the guys dealt for a position player.