NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Terry Collins hasn’t announced it yet, but all indications are that Dillon Gee will get the ball on Opening Day when the Mets kick off the 2014 season against the Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field.
Jon Niese was projected to start his second consecutive Opening Day, but he’ll reportedly start the season on the disabled list and make his debut against the Reds in the sixth game of the season.
“He’s probably the lead guy because of his success against the Nationals,” Collins said in regard to Gee. “And to be honest, no disrespect to Bartolo (Colon) or anybody else, but this guy’s won more games for us in three years than anybody on the staff. So we’re leaning that way.”
But that doesn’t mean that Colon, who won 18 games for the A’s in 2013, is out of the running just yet. Collins might still decide to give the veteran the nod.
“A lot of things can happen in the next week,” Collins said, according to NJ.com. “So if something happens to Dillon, (and he) is going to need an extra day or two, we gotta look at another option. And that option would be Bartolo.”
Gee has stymied the Nationals in his career, going 7-3 with a 3.04 ERA lifetime against the National League East rivals.
If the 27-year-old does get the call, he’ll be more than ready for the challenge.
“I haven’t been told officially, but if it’s me, I’m ready to go,” Gee said. “It’s humbling they would trust me with that day. It’s a big honor if I get it, but it’s one day out of 162. That’s the whole season. But it definitely would be cool to pitch on that day.”
Young stud Zack Wheeler, arguably the most talented pitcher in the rotation outside of Matt Harvey — who is out for the season — doesn’t appear to be in the conversation.
After a rough start to the season, Gee was excellent for the Mets in the second half of 2013. He went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA in 199 innings over 32 starts, walking 47 and striking out 142.
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