Dillon Gee expected to replace Zack Wheeler in Mets’ rotation

2 Comments

With the news that Zack Wheeler has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is likely facing Tommy John surgery, Mets manager Terry Collins told Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record this afternoon that Dillon Gee is expected to take his spot in the starting rotation.

“It’s baseball and they know things can happen. We have to pick ourselves up. I think we got the right guy,” Collins said after the Mets lost 4-3 to Boston. “Dillon is a good pitcher. We’re going to ask him to do what he does and that’s give us quality innings.

Gee was a trade candidate for most of the offseason, but the Mets were unable to find the right deal for him and they look pretty fortunate to still have that depth today. This isn’t to say that he’s a great option or even has the upside of Wheeler, but he owns a 3.91 ERA (93 ERA+) in the majors and can do fine in the back of the rotation.

The Mets still have solid (albeit unproven depth) beyond Gee, with prospects Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Rafael Montero close to the majors. Some would understandably like to see Syndergaard get a look over Gee out of the gate, but odds are he’ll end up logging significant innings at the big league level this season regardless.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

Getty Images
12 Comments

As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on it as precedent. Finally, it should be noted that in issuing this statement, the Astros have given at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech, which seems less-than-ideal at best.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?