(Long Island, N.Y.) Having just won his seventh consecutive decision to start the season, it would have been easy for Dillon Gee to speak with some sense of bravado. But the 25-year-old right-hander took the high road and resorted to his dedication as the reason for the success.
“I definitely feel like I’m gaining more confidence every time out, but it’s hard work here and I have to just keep working hard to maintain where I’m at and get a little bit better, too,” he said by his locker following the Mets 8-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Not only does Gee have a perfect 7-0 record, but also the Mets are 9-0 in his 12 starts. Numbers-wise, he has a 3.05 ERA and 44 strikeouts, while walking only 20 batters. But even with all of the positives, Gee feels that he hasn’t even reached the potential of his full repertoire of pitches.
“The curveball has been kind of hit or miss,” he acknowledged. “The slider was pretty bad to begin with and now that I’m throwing something else, so there’s definitely still a lot of work to be done, I feel like.”
One can only imagine what will be the results once Gee is comfortable throwing any number of pitches in certain spots. “Before, I never really thought about locating the change-up,” he said. “I just kind of threw it. Now, I try to locate the outside corner with it, especially to right-handers and its definitely gotten better.”
In 2010, Gee had ‘a cup of coffee’ in the major leagues and was impressive in five starts with a 2-2 mark and a low 2.18 ERA. But new manager Terry Collins decided to let him start the season at Triple-A Buffalo and whatever the strategy was, it is paying dividends now.
“He has pitched great,” said Collins. “I can’t say enough good things about the job he has done on that mound, controlling his emotions, keeping himself in the game.just making pitches. It’s been really amazing to watch.”
Gee even admitted that he has moved fast through the Mets system and had no regrets about not making the opening day roster. “The guys were pitching really good in the rotation and there was no spot for me,” he commented. “I understand that and it’s disappointing that some of the guys got hurt but I’m just glad that I could step in and help out.”
One of those pitchers that Gee was referring to was Chris Young, who pitched extremely well during the spring and in his four starts (1-0, 1.88). But the former Padre has had a history of arm-related woes and that unfortunately continued in Flushing. Young suffered a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder in May and will undergo surgery, likely ending his season.
Once the eight-year veteran went down, Gee became an important part of the rotation and has more than held his own. At this rate, he should be highly considered for the All-Star team and Rookie of the Year Award.
Not too bad for a guy who was visited by ‘The Turk’ in Port St. Lucie a few months ago.