Mets360 2014 projections: Dillon Gee

In his 10th start of 2013, Dillon Gee got knocked around by the Braves and saw his record drop to 2-6 and his ERA balloon to 6.34 after 49.2 IP. A trip to the bullpen almost seemed inevitable. Yet somehow, Gee turned his season around from that point. In his very next start he went 7.1 IP, allowed 1 ER and notched 12 Ks in a win over the Yankees.

Beginning with that outing in the Bronx, Gee went 10-5 over the rest of the season. In 149.1 IP, he had a 2.71 ERA and a 3.5 K/BB ratio. Gee gave up two earned runs or fewer in 15 of his final 22 starts of the season. Additionally, he pitched into the seventh inning 16 times in that stretch. Gee was giving the Mets both quantity and quality.

Yet, Gee is still not considered a rotation mainstay. With the quality arms bubbling up from the minor leagues, few expect Gee to be a starter for the Mets for very much longer. A trade or a trip to the bullpen seems to be his ultimate fate, whether that comes in 2015 or a year or two later seemingly the only thing up for debate.

The most likely reason is that Gee does not light up the radar gun like his more heralded teammates or future replacements. Another nagging thing is that Gee has a rather pronounced home/road split. Last year he had a 2.75 ERA in 95 IP at Citi Field but a 4.41 mark in 104.0 road innings. For his career, Gee has a 3.20 home ERA compared to a 4.64 mark when he wears the road grays.

So, what will he do in 2014? Here’s what we think:

IP ERA K BB HR FIP Road ERA
Albanesius 190.0 3.45 125 35 14 3.39 4.00
Flattery 180.0 3.45 136 47 19 3.84 4.16
Hangley 181.0 3.62 131 47 17 3.75 5.49
Joura 170.0 3.75 150 50 22 4.00 4.02
Koehler 195.0 3.70 150 50 25 4.10 4.50
Manners 175.0 3.90 125 60 17 4.06 3.80
O’Malley 185.0 3.84 145 46 19 3.71 4.43
Rogan 202.0 3.80 143 51 19 3.76 4.45
Stack 182.0 3.51 128 40 18 3.74 3.91
Vasile 180.0 4.17 130 42 19 3.83 4.48
Walendin 215.0 3.54 167 51 20 3.57 3.95

Not one of us is expecting him to carry over his fine pitching from the last two-thirds of the 2013 season over a full year in 2014. Patrick Albanesius and Sean Flattery tie for the most optimistic ERA, both predicting Gee to finish with a 3.45 mark. While that is a very nice number, it’s still nearly three-quarters of a run worse than he did over his final 22 starts a year ago. While none of us are super optimistic when it comes to ERA, we all think he’ll give lots of innings, with my 170 IP forecast the lowest of the bunch.

Here’s what the group as a whole projects for Gee in 2014:

GeeStats2014

Overall, we expect Gee’s numbers to be slightly down but essentially the same as he produced overall in 2013. We now have the top four starters for the Mets combining for 710 IP. The top four starters for the team last year delivered 651 IP. A noticeable difference for sure. Whether that’s an outrageous difference is up for debate, given the injuries suffered by the Mets’ staff a year ago.

Now let’s see how our numbers compare to the projections available on FanGraphs for Gee:

System IP ERA K BB HR FIP
Mets360 186.2 3.70 139 47 19 3.79
Steamer 163.0 4.17 120 47 17 3.92
Oliver 162.0 3.94 122 47 19 4.08
ZiPS 156.1 4.09 115 44 18 4.15

In a bit of a surprise to me, our forecast is easily the most optimistic one of the group for Gee. All of the systematic approaches expect fewer innings and a worse ERA than he delivered a season ago. The Steamer projection translates to a 1.1 fWAR while the Oliver one has a 0.8 tally. It makes sense on one level, as they are taking his injury-shortened 2012 into account. But Gee has been pretty durable outside of the blood clot and last year he did not miss a start. My main concern with innings is if the club will go to a six-man rotation down the stretch if everyone stays healthy and no one is dealt.

Check back Thursday for our next entry in the projection series.

5 comments for “Mets360 2014 projections: Dillon Gee

  1. Patrick Albanesius
    February 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Poor Gee gets no love. If he stays healthy and keeps that good mojo from last year, I could realistically see a 3.20 ERA at the end of the year making us all look silly.

  2. footballhead
    February 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I have always been a fan of unheralded pitchers outperforming what critics and naysayers expected of them. I remember how Gee came up,for a spot start, reeled off (6?) or 7 wins; shocking everybody, before “coming back down to earth” for the rest of the year. I agree; he’s not a “sexy” pitcher with an arsenal or pedigree that impresses, but for gosh sakes, he’s more then held his own in the media bubble that is New York. How many “studly and sure thing” phenomena’s have wilted or never bore fruit over the years? I’ll take a Gee holding down a spot thank-you.
    Barring injuries, I see 180-200 innings and a 3.50 ERA from this solid trooper. I also think that with young arms arriving, that a 6 man rotation might make sense, showcasing to the league what’s available from us for a trade that will FINALLY get us in position for the playoffs for 2015.

  3. Metsense
    February 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I think the staff consensus is a good expectation of Gee, but maybe he is better than that.
    I don’t think there are many in baseball who are overly impressed by Gee. Eventually there will be 5 other Met starters that others will be impressed with. Gee is the kind of pitcher that will allow the more “impressive” pitchers to be traded for greater return talent while Gee will remain in the Met rotation as the hidden gem. I see Gee as the Mets future #5 starter that on another team he would be #3.”
    The idea of of a six man rotation may become reality this summer if the staff stays healthy and the inning limits need to be met. It is a great way to showcase the talent and give these young pitchers experience during a non contending season.

  4. Scott Ferguson
    February 13, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I didn’t get my prediction in. I agree with the 360 ERA prediction, but really think Gee will eclipse 200 innings this year.
    I also think there’s a chance that he crosses the 200 inning barrier with another team after being traded at the deadline.

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