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New York Mets Will Have Rotation Decision When Dillon Gee Returns

June 24th, 2014 at 12:21 PM
By Mike Phillips

Dillon Gee is closing in on a return to the New York Mets. Gee is expected to pitch in a rehab game today with the Gulf Coast League Mets, and will likely need one more rehab start before rejoining the Mets' rotation next week. When Gee returns, the New York Mets will face a tough choice about who to boot out of their starting rotation.

'Dillon Gee' photo (c) 2011, slgckgc - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With the top three starters (Jonathon Niese, Bartolo Colon, and Zack Wheeler) locked in, Gee will take the place of either Daisuke Matsuzaka or Jacob deGrom. Matsuzaka was working out of the bullpen before being given a rotation spot after Rafael Montero was sent back to Triple-A Las Vegas, and the expectation was that Matsuzaka would be the choice to go when Gee returned. Dice-K has thrived as a starter, however, going 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in four starts this season. Aside from one rough outing against the Chicago Cubs, Matsuzaka has allowed two runs or less in all three of his starts.

deGrom is only 1-4 with a 3.75 ERA in eight starts for the Mets, but he has been the victim of tough luck in a lot of them. deGrom could easily have four wins but has been the victim of a lack of run support and blown saves. deGrom went through a rough stretch in the beginning of June, but he righted the ship quite nicely in his last turn against the Marlins, tossing seven shutout innings to record his first win of the season.

The Mets would have two options here. The Mets could keep deGrom in the rotation and send Matsuzaka back to the bullpen where he was extremely effective earlier in the season. The other option would be to send deGrom to Triple-A Las Vegas for more seasoning and keeping Matsuzaka in the rotation. While deGrom hasn't been lights out in his major league debut, he has shown a lot of potential and could benefit from learning how to pitch against major league hitters. Matsuzaka would also help strengthen a Mets' bullpen that has improved drastically since removing Kyle Farnsworth, Scott Rice, and Jose Valverde from it. 

If the Mets kept both deGrom and Matsuzaka on the roster, they would need to clear a spot in their bullpen for Matsuzaka. The leading candidates would be Dana Eveland and Gonzalez Germen. Eveland has been solid as a lefty specialist, but the Mets have carried only one lefty in the past and could try it again with Josh Edgin recapturing his form after a rough spring. Germen has been essentially a middle reliever with plus stuff, but has struggled with his control and has a problem with allowing too many baserunners to reach. If we were making the call, we would send Germen to Triple-A to work on his control, but it remains to be seen what will happen between now and July 1st, when Gee is expected back.

Tags: Baseball, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dana Eveland, Dillon Gee, Gonzalez Germen, Jacob DeGrom, Josh Edgin, MLB, New York, New York Mets

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