It hasn’t been an ideal spring for much of the New York Mets starting rotation, and that includes righty Dillon Gee. With Johan Santana on the shelf indefinitely and some concern regarding the health of Shaun Marcum’s shoulder, Gee’s struggles have been a bit disconcerting for the Mets, and not something they can afford to have carry over into the regular season.
On the surface, the problems Gee has had this spring aren’t too big of a deal, as he is guaranteed of a spot in the rotation, and he’s just established enough to the point where he has nothing to prove during exhibition games. However, after missing the second half of last season with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder, there was added importance on this spring for Gee, as he had to show that he is the same pitcher he was before the injury. But Gee has yet to do that in four Grapefruit League starts. He has allowed 12 runs in 13 innings of work, for an ERA over 8. He has walked nine and hit three batters, giving away 12 free passes while only striking out seven. Last year, Gee was solid if unspectacular in spring, pitching to a 3.16 ERA in 25 innings, so his poor performance this spring is out of the ordinary and should be a cause for concern. Gee is the kind of pitcher that needs to be crisp and accurate with his pitches, which he has not been this spring, and that needs to change before the start of the regular season.
The only thing that Gee can hold his hat on is that he ended his last outing strong, and showed signs of rounding into form. But one good inning after 12 mediocre innings isn’t going to be enough. Gee needs to be consistently good from inning to inning during his next spring start, to show that he is the same pitcher he’s been in the past and that he will be a reliable pitcher for the Mets this year. If not, the Mets are in trouble, because with so much uncertainty in their rotation already, Gee is someone they need to be able to count on.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.