The Mets have been boasting about their depth in pitching, and they will need it in the wake of season-ending injuries to Zack Wheeler and reliever Josh Edgin.
They will also be without Bobby Parnell to start the year and Vic Black could also open on the disabled list. Wheeler, Edgin and Parnell have elbow problems; Black has a bum shoulder.
GEE: Strong effort today. (AP)
That’s four pitchers the Mets counted on who won’t be available.
The Mets believe there is a high upside for Wheeler, but frankly if Gee gives them his best numbers of 13 victories (13 in 2011), 32 starts and 199 innings (both in 2013), that would be more than they could hope for. (Wheeler’s best numbers were 11 victories, 32 starts and 185.1 innings last season.
Gee and Rafael Montero showed today why the Mets were lucky they weren’t able to deal both, or either, this winter. Gee and Montero have been termed expendable by the Mets because of the promise of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
With Wheeler out for the season, Gee is back in the rotation and was stretched out today in the form of 3.2 scoreless innings against the Astros. As for Montero, he was also stretched out today with 3.2 innings – one run on two hits – also against Houston.
Gee knows how fickle things can be, but he’s happy for now.
“I was almost a little nervous for today – just having to start again,’’ Gee told reporters. “It’s exciting. And I get adrenaline every time I get to do something I really love to do.
“It was nice. I tried to stay within myself and work on things and take it for what it was, but it was exciting to get back out there and do what I like to do.’’
With Gee back in the rotation, Montero is ticketed for the bullpen, that is, of course, unless another pitcher goes down.
Like the rotation, the back end of the Mets’ bullpen seemed secure, but without Edgin and now Black, things are unsettled beyond Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Carlos Torres. Figure Montero for a spot, along with Buddy Carlyle, who could be a free-agent if he’s not on the Opening Day roster.
However, that’s only five out of a potential seven relievers. At one time the Mets were concerned about getting a lefty reliever. Now they need multiple arms.
The old saying is true, in that you can never have enough pitching.
EXTRA INNINGS: The Mets swept their split-squad games, beating Houston, 3-1, and the Cardinals, 7-2. … Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson homered against the Astros. … Jon Niese gave up one run on three hits in four innings against St. Louis. … Parnell is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Friday. … Daniel Murphy left the game against St. Louis in the first inning with tightness in his right hamstring.