Mets right-hander Dillon Gee struggled last season in his return from a blood clot in his shoulder, going 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA through his first 10 starts. Then he struck out 12 batters in a dominant start against the Yankees on May 30 of last year and he hasn’t looked back since.
Gee shut out the Rockies for six innings at Coors Field yesterday and dating back to that May 30 game last season he’s now made 29 starts with a 2.66 ERA in 196 innings.
Check out where his 2.66 ERA ranks among all MLB pitchers with at least 20 starts during that nearly year-long span:
Jose Fernandez 1.56
Clayton Kershaw 1.89
Zack Greinke 2.29
Max Scherzer 2.53
Dillon Gee 2.66
That’s some pretty amazing company for Gee, who prior to that May 30 start last season had a lifetime 4.39 ERA in 353 innings through age 27. Considering how out of nowhere that performance has been and what Gee came back from, it’s a helluva story.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.