I know I’ve had some requests for more fun pitchers, but Dillon Gee was a guy I ranked high and a guy I kept high. And very early on “I tried to figure out why… I had him so high!”, but lately dude has been tossin’ gas!
The very under-appreciated Gee ended 2013 on a tear, pitching with a 2.41 ERA from May 30 to September 15 – with 100 Ks in 137.1 IP in 20 starts. So ridiculously under the radar that Lord Helmet must’ve jammed it!
As a non-Mets fan and non-Gee owner in any leagues at the current present, I haven’t buckled down to watch any of his starts as of late. And with three scoreless outings out of his past four – giving up two runs total in those four – I decided to break down his start yesterday at the Rockies and if Gee should be owned in a lot more than 38% of leagues:
First Inning: Gee starts this tough matchup at Coors with a fastball inside to Charlie Blackmon. Another fastball is high, again high, and 3-0 to start the game. Hmmmm. Gee then pours one in there, all of these at 89 MPH, then another fastball is fouled off, and the payoff is again fastball at 90 MPH flied out to left, one down. Charlie Culberson takes a slider at 84 that stays high, then a straight fastball gets laced to the alley in right for a double. Not an encouraging start. Now the big boppers are up, and Carlos Gonzalez takes a breaking ball outside, a fastball runs way outside, scary pitch here down 2-0 to CarGo. Gee goes fastball that is way high and outside, now 3-0. Fastball is in there, then the 3-1 is a change-up absolutely rocketed to second on the ground, but the play is made for the second out. Runner now at third, and Nolan Arenado takes a fastball outside, then fastball way inside, yet another 2-0 count. Luckily for Gee, he gets a start without Troy Tulowitzki getting a Sunday off. Gee goes with an 85 MPH slider, and he gets around another 2-0 count to get a lazy flyout to left.
Second Inning: The Mets pick up a run, and Gee starts Justin Morneau with a cutter in there, then misses with a cutter, curve then change-up to fall behind 3-1. Man, can’t believe he’s able to survive being down in the count this much! And the next fastball is laced hard to the opposite field, but caught on a line in left, one down. Another hard hit out. First pitch to Michael McKenry is a slider inside, then a fastball fouled off, another heater fouled off, and then Gee’s best curveball on the day gets McKenry to swing and miss, two down.
This really isn’t a good Rockies line-up without Tulo, Wilin Rosario, Michael Cuddyer… First pitch to Corey Dickerson is a curveball, but this one is a hanger and Dickerson dumps it to center for a single. So two outs, runner on first, and D.J. LeMahieu takes a fastball way low and outside, then is in there with a fastball, then another heater is hit hard to the mound, but [duh nuh duh, duh nuh duh! – ESPN theme in words?] Gee makes a fantastic behind the back glove stab and he makes a great Web Gem to end the inning.
Third Inning: Picking up another two runs of support, Gee starts the third with his 30th pitch (despite giving up only two baserunners), and it’s his best slider on the day to opposing pitcher Jhoulys Chacin. Maybe he needed the pitcher up there to relax him a bit. Fastball is inside, then a cutter chopped foul, then curveball bends outside, slider runs outside, and full count to the pitcher. Not a very efficient pitch count. A fastball is fouled back, then finally the 7th pitch of the AB is a fastball at the knees and Chacin looks at strike three. First pitch slider to Blackmon is fouled off, then a change fouled, followed by a fastball a foot too high, 1-2. Another fastball is high and a little chin music, and again fastball is too high to run it full. Three straight high fastballs after getting up 0-2 seems odd. But the payoff pitch is a great change-up and Blackmon swing through it for back-to-back Ks.
Gee starts Culberson with a heater high at 92, his fastest on the day, then a nasty curveball bends into the zone, 1-1. Another good curveball gets a swing-and-miss, a high fastball is fouled off, again high fastball and Culberson hits it pretty well to right, but Curtis Granderson is there a step in front of the track to end the inning.
Fourth Inning: Fastball is inside to CarGo, then another fastball high and tight, a change-up outside is fouled off, another fastball is outside, and it’s another 3 ball count at 3-1. But Gee escapes again with a fastball on the inner black that’s grounded weakly to second, one down. The Mets broadcasters claim Gee is pitching with a purpose expanding the zone, but I dunno… First pitch to Arenado is a four-seamer fouled back, then another fastball fouled back, then a fastball is outside, but a change-up inside that would’ve dipped low gets absolutely rocketed down the third base line for a double – keeping Arenado’s big hitting streak going. Not a great change-up there. Morneau is late on an outside fastball and misses, then late again but hits it foul, and back-to-back 0-2 counts – turning it around. Fastball is fouled off, a good slider is fouled off, and a change-up misses by a millimeter outside, 1-2. Thought that was a K. Change-up on the hands jams him, and Morneau pops out to very shallow right. Two down, and slider is in the dirt to McKenry, a good curve is tapped foul, McKenry is late and misses a fastball, and this has been a good sequence mixing speeds. The fastball isn’t overpowering, but a few late swings this inning. A curve is fouled, still 1-2, and McKenry is late again on the outside fastball for Gee’s 4th K.
Fifth Inning: Pitch count is very high for only three baserunners at 67, and Gee’s 68th is a fastball that misses, again misses, then finally hits the top of the zone, 2-1 to Dickerson. Cutter on the hands is fouled, another fastball fouled, again fastball is fouled back, then a change-up is rolled over getting a weak grounder to first, Lucas Duda bobbles, but is able to get it to Gee covering, one down. LeMahieu fouls off a fastball, then three straight fastballs are high, 3-1. These elevated fastballs scare me. Another fastball in the zone is fouled, then again fastball is way high and tight for Gee’s first walk. Credit Gee for working around all these 3 ball counts up until now. Pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes takes a 91 MPH fastball in there, change-up floats high, then another change at 84 gets belted to left for a single. Hit pretty well there and not a good pitch. Fastball is an inch outside to Blackmon, then nearly a foot outside, gets a heater in there, then a fastball on the hands gets a really weak grounder to second, hit too weak to get a double play, but they get the lead runner. So man on first, two down, and Culberson spins out of the way of an inside curveball, then a nasty slider at 77 MPH gets Culberson way out in front, 1-1.
After a check on the runner, another nasty slider front doors Culberson, then the 1-2 fastball is grounded to second for an easy play to end the inning.
Sixth Inning: Gee’s 92nd pitch is a curveball that bends low to CarGo, then change-up outside, fastball is high and tight, down 3-0. Fastball gets the call, then fastball again gets a swing-and-miss, a change-up is fouled, fastball fouled, then another high heater at 91 gets CarGo to swing-and-miss for Gee’s 5th K. Took 8 pitches, but got it done. Curveball is high and inside, then another curve gets Arenado to pop it out to shallow center, two outs. Curveball low and outside to Morneau, fastball fouled back, fastball high, then another high fastball is hit hard to left, but it’s caught on the run on the track and gets Gee his cleanest inning.
Seventh Inning: So they bring Gee back out there at 105 pitches, and McKenry takes a change in there, a curveball fouled off, and up 0-2 early. Gee goes with a fastball at 89 and McKenry crushes it to right, but it bends a couple of feet foul just inside the park saving Gee from a leadoff double. Then fastball again, and McKenry again goes opposite field for a hard hit single. Up 0-2 against a guy he K-ed both times, I don’t get fastball there. Fastball outside to Dickerson, then a change-up that looked like it got the outside corner is called a ball, 2-0. Another change gets the zone, but Gee’s next pitch – yet another change – is laced to center for a single. And that’s Gee’s last pitch giving up two straight singles without getting an out, but luckily neither come across to score to keep Gee’s scoreless outing intact.
Final Line: W 6.0 IP 113 Pitches (68 Strikes) 0 ER 6 Hits 1 Walk 5 K Gamescore: 64 Gamescore+: 66.6
Final Analysis: Well, it’s hard to argue the results, but Gee fell behind numerous times and this wasn’t a very efficient outing. It’s kind of hard to believe a scoreless 6 inning outing with only 7 scattered baserunners would account for a 113 pitch start. Still, the absence of an earned run and decent Ks scored Gee a solid Gamescore+ even though all the hits were pretty well struck.
Gee starts his arsenal with a fastball around 90 that topped at 92, but it’s anything but overpowering. He elevated a ton yesterday, but was still able to rebound from getting behind in counts. Off the heater is a cutter at 88-89, then a pretty good slider in the high 70s, a change-up usually 83-84 and a curveball that – when on – looked solid in the mid-70s. I wasn’t a fan of the change-up at all this game, as it’s only 7ish MPH slower than the fastball. But he can use all 5 pitches whenever he needs, which I think is the key to his success. Mixing speeds with enough movement is powering Gee’s high output of QS since early last year.
Circling back to the title, where is Gee’s spot in fantasy baseball? While he’s been a really good pitcher as mentioned in the intro, I’m still not boosting him up my rankings. This start at Coors had no Tulo, Rosario, or Cuddyer, and had a lot of hard hit outs with an inefficient pitch count. It’s easy to see why his K:BB was 27:13 before yesterday’s start, and I see it staying closer to 2:1 than improving to 3:1 (even though with yesterday’s solid ratio it’s 32:14 now). In 10ers I’m probably letting him stay out there, but any deeper he’s worth the add as a consistent, albeit low upside, back of the rotation kind of guy. I don’t ever see the Ks being big and I see some bad WHIP games and low win potential, but he does pitch in the NL in a good park with a pretty bad division. He gets the Phillies next time out, which would seem like a solid matchup, but he was a 9.00 ERA pitcher in 4 starts against them last year. Then it’s the Yankees. So Gee is a guy on my radar, but not loving those next two outings.
JB’s Updated Top 100 SP
(rankings based on 12-team Roto – green for risers, red for fallers)
- Well, my B on McHugh, who after cruising through two innings fell apart in the third yesterday. I didn’t see it all, but did catch a few outs/hits and his hung breaking stuff was getting hit hard then the fastball hit hard right after. I still have him ranked, but hate him going at Baltimore next time out. No sir-ee.
- I’m starting to go all in on Sonny Gray. I should’ve listened to Grey! About Gray. Now I feel gray.
- Looks like Trevor Bauer is about to get an extended look in the rotation. I’m still a tad skeptical he can keep the control working, but he certainly has enough upside to crack the top 100.
- I didn’t like Liriano at all this year, and he’s moving further and further down. Shocker!
- How good has Jon Lester been?! I don’t want to buy in too hard, but felt I had to move him up.
- Oh man, how about my boy Kluber?! Nasty, nasty stuff, that helped counter my bad McHugh stream haha.
- I liked Shelby Miller to bounce back from a bad second half last year, but 26 Ks to 21 BB in 34.1 ain’t gonna get it done.
- I’m starting to go gaga for Eovaldi. The first profile I did this year; he’s looked just as sharp in subsequent starts, if not better.
- I guess I was wrong on Burnett, who apparently pitches better with a hernia. Makes no sense. Ahhhh!
I hope everyone had a great week of pitching to finish out April, and happy pitching in the month of May. Stay cold bats, stay cold!