Dillon Gee had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery after the 2016 season to cure blood clots in his lungs and shoulder. He began last season with Texas at Triple-A and showed he was healthy with a 3.88 ERA and 7.6 K/9. He struggled with a 4.15 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and allowed four home runs in 13 innings after he was called up to the Rangers. He then moved to Minnesota where he struggled at times in a swingman role, but did finish the season with 11 scoreless innings. Gee has never had good velocity, relying on great control and ground balls. He signed to play in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons in 2018 and may try to return to MLB as a starter in 2019.
Gee signed a one-year deal with Japan's Chunichi Dragons on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Gee's contract will be between $1.5-to-$2 million for this upcoming season, pending a physical. According to Rosenthal, Gee's plan is to re-establish himself as a starting pitcher, which he wasn't able to consistently demonstrate in 2017, and then return to the majors the following season. During 49.1 innings last year, the 31-year-old posted a 3.47 ERA and 1.40 WHIP while sporting a 41:15 K:BB during his time with the Twins and Rangers.
Gee won't make his next scheduled start Wednesday against the Rays and will move to the bullpen for the time being, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Manager Paul Molitor decided he had seen enough from Gee in a starting role after the right-hander failed to escape the third inning in his most recent outing Friday against the Royals, conceding five runs on six hits and three walks. Gee will be replaced in the rotation by Aaron Slegers, who will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester in advance of Wednesday's contest.
Gee (1-2) was rocked for five runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts over just 2.2 innings as he took the loss Friday to the Royals. Coming into this game, the Twins were getting some decent results out of Gee while their rotation deals with multiple injuries, but the other shoe finally dropped Friday night. Gee posted just one season with an ERA under 4.00 when he pitched for the Mets, and there was little reason to believe his improvement in 2017 through just 35.2 innings was real. This start alone pushed Gee's ERA up from 3.58 to 4.46. The Twins, however, may have little choice but to keep relying on him as a starter despite his inadequacy for the role.
Gee will now start Friday's game against the Blue Jays, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Gee was initially expected to start Saturday, but he'll now get the ball for Friday's series opener while flipping places in the rotation with Kyle Gibson. He held his own in a recent spot start against the White Sox, allowing one run over six innings.
Gee will remain in the starting rotation for the time being and start Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The Twins are currently hindered by a plethora of injuries to their starting pitchers, so they'll grant Gee another turn in the rotation. He allowed one run over six innings in his Monday start against the White Sox, but he'll receive a tougher test next time around as he's scheduled to square off against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Saturday.