The KC Royals added pitcher Dillon Gee to the roster on Tuesday morning, while moving rehab project Mike Minor to the 60 game disabled list.
Kansas City Royals beat writer for MLB.com Jeffrey Flanagan tweeted the news:
Dillon Gee had a clause in his contract that gave him the option to opt out if the Kansas City Royals failed to add him to the 40-man roster by March 15. Gee’s solid performance so far in spring training (1.80 ERA and five strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched) made the decision easy.
Gee figures to be in a battle for a long-relief/spot starter role with the KC Royals this season. Right now, the rotation looks to be pretty much set with Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Ian Kennedy, and Kris Medlen penciled in for the first four slots, with Danny Duffy and Chris Young the options as the no. 5 starter.
Veteran Dillon Gee would be a nice insurance policy against injury after making 98 starts from 2011-14 for the New York Mets. While Gee’s career ERA is a mediocre 4.03, he’s a guy that can take a regular turn an expect to keep his team in the game.
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Gee, however, has significant competition in camp. Prospect Kyle Zimmer‘s strong spring showing (1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 5 K) could force Ned Yost to include him in the rotation, bumping one expected starter to the pen. Also fellow veteran comeback candidates Chien-Ming Wang (1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP) and John Lannan (2.25 ERA, 4.0 IP) have also pitched well in Surprise.
Wang, in particular, has turned heads with his velocity. According to Flanagan, Wang has been hitting 94-95 mph with his fastball this spring. The 35-year-old former Yankee ace, who won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007, has a track record as a top of the rotation pitcher.
Also, prospect Miguel Almonte has struck out eight in 6.0 IP this spring, while allowing two earned runs. Almonte’s fastball that touches 98 mph could hold great appeal as another power arm from the bullpen.
Even if Gee fails to win a roster spot this spring, he does make a nice depth piece. With Gee, Wang, Lannan, Almonte, and Zimmer pitching well this spring, and Mike Minor and Jason Vargas poised to return from injury around mid-season, the KC Royals appear to have enviable rotation depth heading into the 2016 season.