Why do the Mets insist on going the mystery route when it comes to announcing roles in its pitching staff?
When Zack Wheeler was lost for the season it was announced Dillon Gee would assume his spot in the rotation. Manager Terry Collins said as such, but at the same time pitching coach Dan Warthen said it was an open competition between Gee and Rafael Montero.
So much for being on the same page.
It should be a slam dunk because Gee has limited experience pitching out of the bullpen while Montero has worked both as a starter and reliever. Then yesterday Collins flipped it so Montero would pitch against the Yankees. After the game, Collins told reporters in Tampa: “I’ve seen Dillon Gee pitch big games. I don’t need to see him pitch against the New York Yankees.’’
If anything, that sounded like an endorsement for Gee.
However, after Montero’s strong performance, Collins said he earned a spot on the staff, but wouldn’t say in what capacity.
Again, why is this so difficult?
Montero has pitched out of the pen, something Gee hasn’t for years. If anything, with little less than two weeks before the start of the season, I would figure Collins knows he has a starting five, but should realize the holes in the back end of the bullpen is a greater priority.
Revealing the rotation order and role for Montero should be among the easiest of things for Collins to decide as there seem to be more pressing questions:
Will reliever Vic Black be ready for Opening Day?
Will Niese get his mechanics ironed out?
Who will be the leadoff hitter?
Is there a left-handed reliever out there, anywhere?
So, with at least five significant questions that must be answered immediately, the Mets are spinning their wheels – at least that’s the public perception – on Gee and Montero, which should be givens.