ESPN New York reports that Dillon Gee will undergo surgery on Friday to repair arterial damage in his right shoulder to prevent additional blood clots from forming. According to the report, “No longer-lasting ramifications for Gee in terms of his health or his career after the procedure is performed are expected”

That’s definitely good news. I’m sure we all hope the procedure goes well.

Matt Harvey’s 2011 Topps Heritage minor league edition baseball card

However, according to the report, it will be six to eight weeks before Gee would be ready to resume throwing. He might be able to return in late September, but that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The Mets had planned to use Miguel Batista when there was hope that Gee’s absence would only cause him to miss a few starts… now that he’s potentially going to be out for the rest of the season, they must be re-evaluating that decision.

The in-house options are underwhelming. Batista, Chris Schwinden and Jeremy Hefner have all struggled when the Mets tried them after Mike Pelfrey‘s season-ending injury. Matt Harvey has improved recently, but he’s had mixed results at the Triple-A level and team officials have doubts about whether he’s ready to “thrive” at the major league level.

For the 2012 Mets, Harvey is easily the best in-house option. He has the biggest potential upside, and it’s unlikely he could perform worse than Batista. But for the Mets’ long-term goals, I have to wonder if promoting Harvey is a good idea. I’d like to see him dominate at the Triple-A for a long enough period of time to¬†force a callup, rather than watch the Mets turn to him out of desperation.

I don’t envy Sandy Alderson the decision. I suppose he could look at the trade market, but I’m sure any available decent starters will command a premium considering how many teams think they’re in a playoff race and how many could use more pitching.

At least bullpen help is on the way – Josh Edgin will take Gee’s roster spot and give the Mets a second lefty to compliment Tim Byrdak. Hopefully Terry Collins will be more comfortable using him than he was with Robert Carson or Justin Hampson.

About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

5 responses

  1. MJ says:

    In theory, Gee should only miss a couple of starts and I’m not prepared to burn Harvey for that. I wouldn’t have Harvey up at all this year, if it were up to me. I mean, bringing up Mejia too soon worked out so well for everybody, didn’t it? Since I don’t see the Mets contending for real, I’ve got no problem going with Batista, Schwinden or Hefner (of the three, I’d choose Hefner). If Alderson thinks the Mets are for real, he should see what he can pick up cheap in the way of “rent a pitcher” (a Jeremy Guthrie or Joe Blanton shouldn’t cost much). If you really, REALLY think this is it, you go all out to bring in a Matt Cain or Cole Hamels or such, but I don’t see that happening. And, in that case, you’d probably be trading Harvey (if not for the pitcher then for another upgrade like Justin Upton–though I guess I’m one of the few who wouldn’t want Upton anywhere near my team…I think he dogs it 99% of the time).

    Edgin, on the other hand, should be a bright spot. He was easily the best reliever we had in the system this year. He’s got a good chance to stick, I think. Collins will definitely be using him.

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    • MJ says:

      Apologies. The earlier reports were that Gee would miss a couple of starts. I didn’t see the “6 to 8 weeks reports”. Doesn’t much change my evaluation except I wish we’d hung on to Stinson this spring and cut Batista instead. Stinson would have been a great option.

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    • Paul says:

      MJ, Dillon Gee is going to miss 6-8 weeks minimum and may not pitch again in 2012 – he is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow, according to the media reports.

      Miguel Batista makes sense for one or two starts, but not for much more than that. I’m not sold on bringing up Matt Harvey now, either. I worry that rushing him could hurt his long-term development. But it’s an option that has to be considered now.

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  2. Will in Central NJ says:

    Speaking of door number 3: reports indicate the Mets have re-signed LHP CJ Nitkowski, age 39. Now, HOW the heck did we not see this Rockland County, NY native in the Atlantic or Can-Am Leagues?

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    • Paul says:

      He played 15 years in pro baseball, but never in an independent league. I guess they just didn’t seem like they offered good opportunities to him.

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