Posted by Ernest Dove at 12:00 PM
I've always been, and still consider myself, a Dillon Gee fan. From the time Gee came on the scene, whether he was being considered a possible long relief guy, who battling/earning his spot in the back end of the rotation, I've been rooting for him.
And as come towards the end of the season, and most likely watch Bartolo Colon pitch his way to 200 innings, I think about how Gee, just last year, pitched 199 innings, his most as a major leaguer. Earlier this year, I wrote a post detailing my thoughts, backed up by stats, showing Gee starting out having a career type year for him, specifically in the area of hits per 9 innings, which is still his best in the league, at 8.1/9.
However, the long ball has continued to be a problem, with Gee now being credited with his worst HR/9in season of his career (1.2/9). That, in addition to another season which included a stint on the DL, and leading to Gee going from a career high 199 innings to only 132.1 this year.
There's also been the never ending saga, concerns, conspiracy theory of what happen to Dillon after he hits that mysterious 90 pitch mark, and/or 6th inning of a ball game. Though never quite known for pitching deep into games, Dillon did manage 2 complete games last year, while recording none this year;
All this to return to original point and question of the article. Have we seen the last of Dillon Gee in a Mets uniform? Throughout the year, we hyped the pending arrivals of Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Montero has had his turn, and has shown some concerns of his own with going deep into games, and giving up the dreaded long ball. However, he is still the rookie in the equation, with 'potential'. Syndergaard has yet to appear this year, but remains well regarded, with ongoing high expectations for the 2015 season........ Oh, and there's that guy Matt Harvey, who might be expecting to pitch for the team next season. So, recently, the same name are being thrown around. Bartolo Colon, Jonathan Niese, and Dillon Gee.
Well, regarding Colon, we know he's old. We know he's got a big salary owed to him (I know, a slight Wilpon dig should be added here), but we also know he's about to reach that 200 inning mark this coming weekend. We also know he's done that by consistently pitching into the 7th and 8th inning.
As far as Niese , He has been somewhere in the neighborhood, stat wise with previous seasons. He has been a workhorse for this organization in the recent past, and has stepped up when asked to pitch for the Mets to open a season, and be their Ace (by default). Oh, did I mention that he is a lefty? This might be the number one factor, going into the offseason. As the front office, Sandy Alderson, and all the Mets fans out there, argue about potential, veterans, letting the kiddies play, etc., the biggest thing you can't change is the arm Niese uses to throw. Yes, technically, the Mets have 1, just one, other high level lefty starter in the organization with a high ceiling of his own (Matz) However, pitching close to a no hitter in a AA ball playoff game, does not guarantee a spot on the 25 man roster the next season.
In this whole thing, at this point, it has to be about having trust and faith in Sandy Alderson. I just don't see the Mets simply showing up at he winter meetings, and getting everything they want, while trading away every valuable trade piece they have, during those meetings. So, technically, the only immediate possible addition to the rotation would be Matt Harvey. Which only opens up one spot.
Plus (warning, Wilpon dig coming), there is the issue of money. Colon is probably a must go. Although, honestly, theres nothing wrong with a guy pitching another 185 decent innings for your organization again. But if you can't dump that $11 mil on somebody else for some good prospects, and if Matz is taking the same path that most prospects, under Sandy and company, always take, then Niese (and that left arm) by remain a necessity.
This leaves we with that same ol' Gee. The guy who may be squeezed out of the rotation, and in case in anyone thought it could be possible, he might also be priced out of beating out Carlos Torres and his cheaper salary, as Gee goes through that confusing arbitration process.
So, obviously, I have no crystal ball. But I've always considered myself pretty good at Math. I know that 5, in baseball, has to always equal 5. And, no matter the Braves type possible catastrophe, the Mets still have returning, and soon to be entering, AAA pitchers who project to be major league caliber starters.
I honestly just don't see (one last Wilpon dig) this team adding too many big pieces this offseason, no matter the position of pitcher or hitter. So we are still looking at viewing a similar 25 man roster in the coming year ahead. However, along with the familiar names, I still obviously assume that at least 1 current starting pitcher will be wearing a new uniform next year. Do you think that one also happens to be a Gee?