When Zack Wheeler was lost for the year in mid-March, it seemed all but certain Dillon Gee would be the team’s fifth starter heading into the regular season.
In fact, Terry Collins seemed to immediately turn to Gee to fill that void.
“That’s why he’s here,” Collins told reporters of Gee earlier this month.
Despite a 2.16 ERA as a starting pitcher this spring, Gee apparently finds himself competing with Rafael Montero for that rotation spot.
Furthermore, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York cites a team source who said while there are no active discussions, Gee might still be traded within a month.
According to Rubin, while Gee is still expected to begin the season in the rotation, there are, “dissenters” among team officials who prefer Montero be in the rotation.
Terry Collins has been open about wanting to continue to examine Montero as a starter, who will pitch today against the Marlins.
The loss of Wheeler hurts. There is no question about it. Still, the Mets are incredibly deep in starting pitching. They still have Colon and Gee, Montero has put on a show lately in camp, and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are closing in on the big leagues themselves, not to mention Matt Bowman (who many in the organization really like) seems to be on the horizon as another option for the big league staff.
Somehow, they’re going to have to figure out which pieces fit, which do not, and take a leap of faith at some point. Not all of these guys will be here in the end, not all of them will work out, either. But there’s no question they have a logjam, with or without Wheeler.
As I said early in camp, and as recently as two weeks ago, this situation has been weird and awkward for Gee from the moment he parked his car at Tradition Field six weeks ago. He’s gone in and out of the bullpen, his ability has been questioned as a reliever, he’s constantly being asked about trade rumors. It just doesn’t end for him. Yet, he’s acted so professionally throughout the process, and that’s commendable.
If Montero wins the job (which still seems unlikely), the Mets might get more out of Gee if they trade him. He’s never pitched in relief on a regular basis before, he had trouble adapting to the role earlier in camp, they still don’t know if he can do it, and there’s no time left in camp to experiment. Besides, they have Carlos Torres as an established swing-man already who they know can handle the uncertain schedule.
Hopefully this awkwardness comes to an end for him soon, whether he’s here or not.