Dillon Gee to rotation for now, but Noah Syndergaard should get chance soon

By Danny Abriano

While Sandy Alderson would not comment Monday regarding who would take the injured Zack Wheeler‘s spot in the rotation, Terry Collins said later what everyone already assumed: Dillon Gee – at least for now – is the guy.

Gee, who was ticketed for the bullpen before Wheeler’s injury, had a 4.00 ERA (4.52 FIP) and 1.25 WHIP in 137.1 innings pitched (22 starts) last season while striking out 6.16 per 9 – the lowest rate of his career.

The Mets attempted to trade Gee during the offseason, and Alderson said Monday that the uncertainty surrounding Wheeler’s elbow had no bearing on the Mets’ decision to not deal Gee or another starting pitcher.

Aside from Gee, the other candidate who could’ve immediately filled Wheeler’s spot was Rafael Montero.

As it pertains to both Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, barring something very strange happening, the Mets are expected to wait until at least late-April to call either of them up. At that point, the club will have secured an extra year of team control over both.


Punting a year of team control when the difference is two or three big league starts would be incredibly shortsighted, and is something no smart organization would consider.

Regardless of who they have to fill in for Wheeler (in this case it’s Gee), the Mets are 100 percent correct to be delaying the arrivals of both Syndergaard and Matz.

However, once the Mets secure the extra year of control over Syndergaard, he should be called up to make his major league debut while taking Gee’s spot in the rotation.

The time is now for the Mets, and Syndergaard – with his upper echelon stuff and top of the rotation ceiling – belongs in the rotation by late-April now that Wheeler is done for the season.

Yes, Syndergaard didn’t have a fantastic year in Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014, but it’s unwise to take stats from the PCL at face value.

When digging deeper, Syndergaard’s ERA of 4.60 was league average and his strikeout rate of 9.81 per 9 was elite. When examining further, you’ll note that Syndergaard’s FIP of 3.70 shows a pitcher who dealt with poor defense behind him.

Going further, if you compare Syndergaard’s season in Triple-A to Matt Harvey’s season in Triple-A, you’ll see that they had similar FIP’s (Harvey’s was 3.66, Syndergaard’s was 3.70) while Syndergaard had the edge in K/9 and a better BB/9. More impressive for Syndergaard is that he put up those numbers in the pitcher’s hell that is Las Vegas, while Harvey posted his numbers in Buffalo.

The thin air in Las Vegas results in fly outs turning into doubles and doubles turning into homers. The hard infield turns routine ground outs into hits, and the atmosphere also makes gripping the ball (especially on secondary offerings) difficult.

At 22 years old and with a full season at Triple-A under his belt, Syndergaard belongs in the majors. Focusing on his every move in Triple-A this April, considering the conditions he’s pitching in, is pointless. Syndergaard’s immediate future should be known before he makes his first start for the 51s.

As we’ve seen with Matt Harvey and now with Zack Wheeler, power pitchers often have a limited amount of bullets. Wasting any more of Syndergaard’s bullets in Triple-A after the Mets secure an extra year of control would be pointless.

More from New York Mets News