Mets Insider: Dillon Gee makes pitch for rotation

By on March 30, 2015

Dillon Gee allows two runs over seven innings as he continues to battle for the fifth spot in the Mets' rotation.© USA Today Sports / Reuters/USA Today Sports

Dillon Gee allows two runs over seven innings as he continues to battle for the fifth spot in the Mets’ rotation.

JUPITER, Fla. — Dillon Gee did not have his best stuff Sunday, but that may have been his best case for winning the No. 5 spot in the Mets rotation. The veteran righthander worked through a rough start trying to locate his fastball Sunday and still held off a Cardinals lineup featuring many regulars for a 3-2 win.

“I definitely started executing better as the game went on, had trouble finding everything,” said Gee. “Today the cutter allowed me to stay in the game long enough to figure it out.

“Today wasn’t great, but that’s how it goes in the regular season too, you have to work through it.”

Gee held the Cardinals to two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out three in what could be his last start before the regular season begins.

The Mets will decide between Gee and Rafael Montero for the spot left by Zack Wheeler, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery last week. Montero will start Monday against the Marlins.

“I think certainly we’ll make the decision later this week, whether it is going to be Rafi or Dillon,” Terry Collins said. “Whoever it is not going to be, got to get a little work out of that bullpen this weekend.”

The safe move would be Gee, the Opening Day starter in 2014.

A veteran with a 40-34 career record, with the team needing to get off to a good start, Gee is a solid fifth starter. But Wednesday, Montero, who was 1-3 in eight starts last season, is showing glimpses of what had made him effective in the minors.

“He was throwing first-pitch strikes, he was pounding the strike zone,” one talent evaluator said of Montero’s performance against the Yankees. “That’s what everyone was raving about when he was in the minors, but nobody saw when he was up last year.”

Sunday, Gee showed the Mets he knows how to get through even the tough outings.

“I think so, I think other than the way I ended last season, I think with my track record I feel like I can win games in this league and keep the team in the game,” Gee said. “Against a good team, I didn’t have very good stuff to start the game, some how figured out a way to keep us in the game.”

DOWN TO THE WIRE

With it looking more likely that Daniel Murphy (strained hamstring) will begin the season on the disabled list, the Mets are planning to let Matt Reynolds, Danny Muno and Ruben Tejada play it out and see who will fill in until the second baseman is ready.

Reynolds went 1-for-4 Sunday and is hitting .381 in Grapefruit League play. While he has impressed Collins, the Mets manager said they are not leaning in any direction.

“That’s why we are playing everybody there, Ruben, Danny will play there (Monday),” Collins said. “We are trying to get a good read on everybody and get what our best options are gonna be. Then make the decision late in the week.”

DOTS ALL, FOLKS

Bobby Parnell pitched an inning in a minor-league game Sunday. He hit a batter, walked one and struck out one. The closer is scheduled to begin the season on the disabled list and, according to a team source, will likely not be ready to come off until May. … Curtis Granderson had two doubles Sunday for seven extra-base hits this spring. … In the battle of the lefthanded relievers, Dario Alvarez struck lefty Scott Moore and Sean Gilmartin struck out two righthanded batters.  

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