We continue our 2014 Mets Season in Review series with pitcher Dillon Gee.
After he completed a brilliant half of the 2013 season, the right-hander was marred with injuries and inconsistencies in 2014.
How he fared in 2014:
Aug 31, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee (35) reacts in the dugout during the seventh inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Gee emerged at the end of 2013 as one of the Mets’ biggest surprises. Coupled with this and injuries in the rotation to start the year, Gee was the team’s Opening Day starter against the Nationals. His 6 2/3, four-run outing played out how much of his season did: flashes of greatness, but overall a disappointment from 2013.
But following the home opener, he was one of the team’s best pitchers in April and early May. In a seven-start span, Gee pitched at least 5 2/3 innings and allowed no more than four runs in each start. Things were looking on the up and up for him. Just as things got good for Gee, the injury bug got to him. Prior to his start against the Yankees in mid May, Gee was sent to the 15-day disabled list with a lat strain. A normal two-week injury eventually turned into a two-month trip to the DL. His next start was on July 9, and for the that month, he posted an abysmal 6.08 ERA.
By season’s end, Gee had a 7-8 record and a 4.00 ERA — 38 points higher than 2013. Though his WHIP dropped a slight bit, his FIP jumped from 4.00 all the way to 4.52.
Areas to improve upon:
Not only did Gee see a decrease in velocity, but he also saw a increase in his walk rate from 2.1 per nine in 2013 to 2.8. As pitcher that cannot rely on high-90s fastballs, it is pertinent for Gee to have better command as he goes forward. Despite the fact that his fly ball percentage largely stayed the same, he saw an uptick in his home runs per fly ball and home runs per nine innings.
That has to do with some command issues and leaving pitches over the plate. He’s most successful when he keeps the ball down and can occasionally jam a hitter, so he needs to try and get back to that if at all possible.
Lastly, Gee’s never been one to go longer than six or seven innings, and 2014 was no different. In the seventh and eighth innings, Gee had ERAs over 10. If he wants to have any chance to be in the rotation next year, any attempt to work on longevity will go a long way.
Projected role in 2015:
The best case scenario for him is that he returns as the Mets’ fourth or fifth starter. But there’s a good chance that he is a back end of the rotation starter for another team.
Contract Status and trade rumors:
He is due for arbitration this offseason and is under contract through 2016. With the Mets looking to improve in left field and shortstop, Gee is an intriguing trade chip. Because of his major league experience and the Mets’ unwillingness to part with their top pitching prospects, it would not be all that shocking to see him in another uniform in 2015.