New York Mets: Dillon Gee & 5 Recent Mets All-Star Snubs
On July 3, 2011, the 2011 MLB All-Star Game representatives were announced. Representing the Mets this year are shortstop Jose Reyes, who is having a phenomenal season and is bound to set some new Mets records. He will be the starting shortstop. The only other Met chosen was Carlos Beltran as a reserve outfielder. Beltran is having a nice bounce-back season and has proven the critics wrong by staying healthy and playing virtually every day so far this year. However, one Met that should have gotten an All-Star nod was the rookie Dillon Gee.
Gee has had one of the best rookie seasons in Mets history. So far, he is 8-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 83 innings pitched. He also has a solid 58/33 strikeout/walk ratio. However, he started off 7-0 and was dominating the opposition. But this does not thoroughly illustrate how significant he has been for the Mets this year. With ace Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey both having inconsistent seasons and Chris Young out for the season, Gee has become the dependable starter the Mets have needed.
Gee is certainly a front-line contender for the National League Rookie of the Year award if he pitches as well in the second half of the season as he did in the first half. If he stays consistent, the Mets could have him, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese as a solid triumvirate of young pitchers that could be with the Mets for a long time.
With Gee not getting the All-Star nomination he deserved, now is a good time to look back on five other recent Mets' All-Star snubs.
1. Mike Pelfrey (2010)
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The most recent notable All-Star snub occurred last year for Mike Pelfrey.
Pelfrey got off to an amazing start in 2010. He went 4-0 in April with a miniscule 0.69 ERA. He then went 3-1 in both May and June and already had 10 wins by the All-Star break. He was well deserving of an All-Star nomination, but got passed over, while David Wright and Jose Reyes were the only Mets to get nominated that year.
However, he all of a sudden fell apart once the calendar hit July. He went 0-3 that month with an alarming 10.02 ERA. After that terrible month, he did pick it up and finished with a solid 15-9 record, which so far has been his best season. He also set more career highs with 204 innings pitched and 113 strikeouts.
Hopefully, Pelfrey will become more consistent over the years and earn some All-Star nominations.
2. John Maine (2007)
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Another recent Mets' All-Star snub was John Maine in 2007.
Like Pelfrey in 2010, Maine got off to a great start in 2007 with a 4-0 record and a 1.35 ERA in April. As a result, he was chosen as the National League Pitcher of the Month. He followed this up with a 2-2 record and 4.50 ERA in May and a 3-2 record and 2.66 ERA in June.
By the All-Star break, Maine had 10 wins and was tied with Brad Penny for the most wins in the National League. Yet despite this breakout season he was having, Maine was passed over for the All-Star nominations. When asked if he thought he would make the All-Star team, he said no.
The second half of Maine's 2007 season was not as spectacular, but he certainly saved his best game for his last start of the season. That day, Maine pitched 7.2 shutout innings and struck out 14 batters, while only giving up one hit in a 13-0 Mets win.
Maine finished the year with a career-best 15 wins and a 3.91 ERA. In 191 innings pitched, he had an amazing 180/75 strikeouts/walks ratio. Maine had trouble repeating his 2007 performance in future seasons and he is currently in the Rockies' minor league system.
3. Robin Ventura (1999)
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Although his Mets tenure was underachieving overall, Robin Ventura should have made the All-Star team in 1999.
While Chipper Jones did win the 1999 NL MVP award, Ventura was arguably more qualified as an All-Star that year, compared to third basemen Phil Nevin and Ed Sprague, who both represented the National League.
By the All-Star break, Ventura already had 15 home runs and 66 RBI. Mike Piazza, the Mets' only All-Star player in 1999 was the face of the team, but Ventura was always clutch when needed. He even hit two grand slams in two games of a doubleheader against the Brewers in May.
Ventura finished his 1999 season with a .301 average, 32 home runs, 120 RBI, 38 doubles, and a Gold Glove Award. He had a solid, but not as consistent season in 2000. However, after a disappointing 2001, Ventura was traded to the Yankees in the following off-season.
4. John Franco (1997)
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In fourteen productive years of service for the Mets, John Franco only earned one All-Star appearance. And that was in his first Mets season in 1990. Another year that Franco should have been selected as an All-Star was in 1997.
Franco got off to a great start in 1997 with a 0.66 ERA in 11 games and 13.2 innings. He racked up six saves for the month. He was just as good in May with a 3.12 ERA and eight saves in 10 appearances. His June was rough, as he had a 6.48 ERA by giving up six runs for the month. However, he did get another five saves and had 20 saves by the All-Star break.
Rod Beck was the only closer to make the 1997 National League All-Star team, but Franco should have also earned a spot for his performance that year. Instead, Bobby Jones and Todd Hundley (who didn't play due to a lingering elbow injury) were the only Mets' representatives.
Franco finished the season with a 5-3 record. He got 36 saves, which broke his personal record of 33 in 1990 (he would then save 38 games a year later). He also had a 2.55 ERA, 53/20 strikeouts/walks, and 1.15 WHIP.
John Franco spent fourteen seasons with the Mets and holds the all-time record for most saves among left-handed pitchers. However, he was overlooked by some of the more hard-throwing and dominant closers of his time and he should have gotten more recognition for his services.
5. Bernard Gilkey (1996)
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Rounding out the list of recent Mets All-Star snubs is the one-year wonder himself, Bernard Gilkey.
Gilkey was traded to the Mets prior to the 1996 season in what was his contract year. Gilkey's 1996 season then became by far the best of his career. By the All-Star break, Gilkey had 21 doubles, 17 home runs and 62 RBI.
While Lance Johnson and Todd Hundley, the other two premier Mets hitters in 1996 both made the All-Star team, Gilkey was left out. One could say that this was because everyone wanted all the teams to be evenly represented, but by looking that the numbers, it was quite obvious that Gilkey also deserved to make the team.
Gilkey finished his career season with a .317 average, 108 runs scored, 181 hits, a Mets-record 44 doubles, 30 home runs, 117 RBI, 73 walks, 321 total bases, a .393 OBP and a .562 slugging percentage (which adds up to a .955 OPS). He also had 18 assists from left field.
Gilkey failed to duplicate his 1996 success in 1997 and struggled during the early portion of the season, but still had 18 home runs and 78 RBI. However, he got off to a terrible start in 1998 and ended up getting traded to the expansion Diamondbacks in July.
Bernard Gilkey had one of the best seasons ever in Mets history and certainly got overlooked for the 1996 All-Star game nominations.