SP Dillon Gee‘s scheduled return on June 5 from the DL has been delayed, but it won’t hurt the New York Mets too much. Gee’s been one of the Mets’ most reliable pitchers over the past calendar year, but thanks to the pitching depth in their organization, the Mets are able to overcome injuries to their starting rotation.
The excess of pitching talent that’s on the verge of being ready for the major leagues presented the Mets with a question of where they would all fit in. Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom were to make their debuts in the bullpen to help out with an obvious area of weakness. Noah Syndergaard would get some more innings at triple-A, then come up after the Super-2 eligibility deadline if the Mets needed him, or if he was dominating PCL batters.
As it turns out, the Mets needed to plug deGrom and Montero into the rotation right away. First, the Mets decided Jenrry Mejia would be a better fit in their bullpen. The eventually moved the afroed right-hander into the closer’s role, and Jenrry has thrived so far. To take his place, they recalled Montero, who’s oscillated between good and bad starts. Most recently, he gave Mets fans a glimpse into his potential when he struck out 10 batters in five innings.
Just after that, Gee went down with a lat injury, resulting in deGrom’s call to the show. He’s been quite good over two starts, posting a 1.00 WHIP and 2.77 ERA despite losing both games.
The Mets planned to move either deGrom or Montero to the bullpen (or possibly back down to triple-A) when Gee returned, but now that Gee appears to need more time on the DL, they will both remain in the starting rotation. Injuries are a fact of life now more than ever in professional sports. The key is to build up depth at every position in order to compensate for it. Starting pitching is the one area where the Mets have depth.
This situation also helps deGrom and Montero in the long run. The experience they’re getting at the major league level now will benefit them for the rest of their careers.