Gee Right Back On Track

Gee has been nearly untouchable in two starts

BUFFALO, NY - Dillon Gee's 2009 season ended before it really ever began. Now, after nearly a year of rest and rehab, the right-hander is back on the mound and looking very strong. Gee has been outstanding in his first two starts and wants to keep that rhythm going. Gee spoke about his start and approaches he takes to protect his arm.

Every season, countless players go down to season ending injuries and almost every one of those players makes a full medical recovery. But the real question is always whether or not those players will be able to regain the skill level they had before the injury.

Bisons right-hander Dillon Gee went down early in 2009 with a labrum injury. Since, questions swirled as to whether or not the 23-year-old will make a full recovery and return to the form that had so many excited about his future.

Through two starts this season, Gee has done his best to answer those questions. He has gone 2-0 in his only two outings of the season and has looked dominant on the bump.

Gee has tossed 13 innings in his two starts and struck out a staggering 12 batters, eight in one game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 17. He has only given up five hits this year and has yet to surrender a run.

"Every time I go out I just try and focus on giving this team a chance to win," Gee said. " Hopefully it [continues to] turn out the way it (has)."

One of the more encouraging signs for Gee is that he feels good. He has been able to throw all his pitches for strikes and considering he doesn't throw as hard as he did before the injury, he now bases his game around consistency.

"I don't throw overly hard [anymore] so I've got to try and keep them off balance with the changeup and throw more pitches for strikes," Gee said.

Rehabbing was a difficult time for Gee because he had to rebuild his game. It can be difficult to be forced to change your identity as a pitcher.

Being a pitcher is more than just ball and strikes. A certain mind set is required when trying to get batters out. A pitcher has to have a bit of an ego and when you go from throwing in the 90s to mid-80s, as Gee has in his first two starts, it can be difficult to accept it.

The two starts so far this year have gone a long way as to helping restore Gee's confidence.

"I'm definitely confident," Gee said. "It has boosted the confidence a bit to have outings like I've had but I can't take it for granted. I have to keep putting the work in and keep going out there and trying to pitch well."

A strong work ethic has boosted Gee's return. He has changed his daily routine up a bit since the injury to help take it easy on his throwing arm but his will to win remains unchanged.

"Because I'm coming back from injury I try and keep my side work a bit on the soft side," Gee said. "I don't want to overdo anything just yet. I just want to continue to be able to go out there every five days and give this team a chance to win."

While Gee's performance has been great, Mets management will be looking for consistent play from the pitcher as well as evidence that his arm is getting stronger. He thinks that he is on the right track.

"I was obviously happy with my first outing but the arm strength felt a little bit better today," Gee said. "I feel like it's getting a little better each time out."

As Gee continues to progress, the light at the end of the tunnel is evident and he thinks he is ready to take the next step.

"I'll be looking forward to it if the call comes [from New York]," Gee said. "I think I'm ready and I think I've continued to get better. Hopefully I'll keep doing better each outing. I feel ready."

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