Dillon Gee Opens Season for Mets

In case you don’t know already, Dillon Gee will be the starting pitcher today, Opening Day, for the New York Mets.

Gee will be the 23rd Opening Day starter in Mets history. Did he deserve the Opening Day nod?

I say “yes,” but, I really like Dillon Gee — for me, he’s fun to watch, and someone easy to root for. In many ways, he’s, for me, like Bobby Jones (the righthanded Bobby Jones, a.k.a., “Bobby J. Jones.” Is that enough, though, to be worthy of the Opening Day assignment?

Certainly, there was argument for Bartolo Colon, who posted a sparkling 18-6 record and stingy 2.65 ERA for the Oakland Athletics last season, and who was the second-most significant free-agent signing by the Mets during the offseason. Additionally, Zack Wheeler made a decent case to be the first starter of 2014, based on his performance in his rookie season as well as his strong spring.

Would you have chosen Wheeler, Colon, or Gee? Or someone else?

Before you jump to the comments to answer that question, let me pose a few more …

Andrew Brown or Eric Campbell? As much as I like Campbell, Brown has the homerun power the Mets like, and he looked pretty good on the televised games this spring. Sure, Campbell looked good, too, but he might be better served getting regular duty in AAA. My gut tells me we’ll see Campbell in the bigs soon enough.

Omar Quintanilla or Anthony Seratelli? My gut votes for local boy Seratelli. My conscience tells me it probably doesn’t matter.

Gonzalez German or Kyle Farnsworth? I’m not impressed with either, but I’m less impressed by Farnsworth.

Bill DeBlasio or someone else for the ceremonial first pitch? If I’m Mets ownership, I’d be giving the first pitch to Mike Bloomberg, who was instrumental in making the dream of a mall at Willets Point become a reality. Sure, there are still a few legal issues, but one would think that the Wilpons would honor their partner in crime.

Crap, I didn’t mean to make this blog political. Never mind. If it helps, I promise never to discuss religion nor The Great Pumpkin here, ever, OK?

Ok. Let’s focus on the positive: it’s Opening Day!

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm
    The Mets like rewarding loyalty to the company. Gee has done everything that’s been asked of him, and he has the longest Mets tenure, so he’s the go-to guy.

    Fortunately, he’s also a pretty good pitcher. I think the whole “2.71 ERA after May last year!” rhetoric is over-stating things a bit (there was probably some good luck mixed in there), but watching Gee mess with guess hitters is a rare treat (I still remember Ian Desmond complaining about how he couldn’t predict what Dillon would throw). The walks are down, the Ks are good enough, he’s fairly economical, doesn’t give up a ton of homers… he’s comfortably in that tier of good pitchers below the dominators.

    On any given day, his curve or change or slider or running fastball might be nasty, or not, and it’s always fun to see how he’ll adjust and change from start to start and batter to batter.

    Plus, Gee’s got the perpetual underdog thing that makes him easy to root for — late-round draft pick, unimpressive velocity, quiet and unassuming, survived a major health scare, seems like a nice and normal dude.

    As for the rest:
    I’d be more excited about Campbell if we didn’t already have his statistical clone in Josh Satin. Brown can crush a mistake, but has no great platoon split, so ehn. Germen’s location has been terrible, but at least his upside is better than Farnsworth’s. Seratelli deserves a look, only because we’ve seen how underwhelming Tejada and Q are.

  2. Izzy March 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    Mediocrity galore and the failed GM demands 90 wins!!!!! what a fraud. No 90 wins and you better get out of NY Alderosn.Mediocre players, YOUR TEAM, YOUR GUYS, and you demand they perform like the 69 boys! The only joke on this team is the putrid press giving this a guy a free ride for so many years because he uses big words they don’t understand. Nice pen Alderson, nice first baseman, nice shirtstop, you sure built a 90 win team.If only they would play above their talent. And a tip of the cap to Collins for only using 6 relievers today. All those switches really pay off hen the guys stink.
  3. Victor Chu March 31, 2014 at 7:35 pm
    Gents – I haven’t seen today’s game yet, but it seems like the bullpen remains a problem.

    It also looks like Terry left Gee in just a tad too long at 100 pitches, but I’m not sure bringing in the bullpen at the start of the inning would have made a difference. They were all terrible except for JV. We’ve all seen this story before … the team just has no margin for error. At least our captain showed his team that he doesn’t give up when the chips are down … a small victory in that sense.

  4. Wohjr March 31, 2014 at 7:48 pm
    Boy you said it victor. It seems like the only way this team can win is if everyone has a career day. Granderson looks like a mistake and they’re on pace for 2900 Ks. Ugh
  5. argonbunnies March 31, 2014 at 10:46 pm
    Today’s mistakes:
    – Sticking with Gee too long in a close game after he’d clearly run out of gas (“he’s only at 90 pitches, he must have more” is just as stupid as “he’s up to 115, he must be done”; USE YOUR EYES).
    – Placing EY so deep in LF that he couldn’t get to a routine fly ball to medium-shallow left.
    – Bringing in a 1-pitch pitcher for a 1-run save. Did Parnell tell anyone he wouldn’t throw his curve today, and they brought him in anyway? Or did he not tell anyone?
    – Maybe not warming up Torres until too late? See below.

    Failed execution:
    – EY reaching past Harper’s liner at 2B (it hit the heel of his glove).
    – EY swung at a lot of balls; not a good way to follow uphis Luis Castillo impression from spring training.
    – Granderson took a down and in fastball — his favorite spot! — for strike 3. In a sac fly situation, woulda been nice to see him shorten up and fight some pitches off.
    – Carlos Torres clearly wasn’t ready to pitch. Dunno whether it was physical or mental, but he missed way high, way low, and way outside. GKR only mentioned Rice warming up before Torres entered…
    – Facing a light-hitting lefty with the bases loaded, Rice really just needed to throw his sinker down the middle. NO excuse for a walk there.

    Good things:
    – Until he tired, Gee was an absolute artist out there. He didn’t have his best curve/slider/change, but he used them effectively, and he was pinpoint with his fastball, sinking and running it on/off the corners. He really only made one bad pitch before the 7th, it just happened to be to the wrong guy.
    – Lagares showed a nice mix of patience and aggressiveness at the plate.
    – Andrew Brown can still crush a mistake!

    • argonbunnies April 1, 2014 at 2:04 am
      Oops, didn’t see the recap thread. Will re-post there.