He’s only pitched once, but it already seems like Dillon Gee is going to be a big help to Paul Molitor. The Twins’ manager has been hamstrung all season by the lack of a long reliever, someone to pitch 3-5 innings when the starter falters early or a game goes extra innings. Each time it happens, the Twins have to scramble for pitching for the next few days, and usually are forced to call someone up from the minors.
“He kind of gave us an idea [that he’s] a piece that’s been missing, a guy that can come in and eat some innings up in those type of ballgames,” Molitor said after Gee’s debut for the Twins on Thursday. “He did a nice job.”
He recorded nine outs, in fact, before he gave up a hit. That made Gee the first Twins reliever in more than two months, since Adam Wilk’s 3.2-inning stint on May 21, to contribute three innings.
It was a long time coming, though. Gee spent five days with the Twins last month as an emergency arm in an overtaxed bullpen, but was sent to Rochester without getting into a game. This time, he’s been in a Twins uniform since Monday.
“It felt really good. … When I got hot in the pen, it felt like same old thing, like I was getting ready for a start,” said Gee, who went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts at Triple-A. “The last time, I hadn’t pitched in more than a week. I was glad to be able to go down and get my innings built up and get a little sharper.”
Not that he objects to long stints between appearances. That’s the job, he said.
“I’m the long guy. If you’re not using me, it’s probably a pretty good thing,” he said. “My job is to come in and try to get deep into games and eat innings.”
Gee started the season with Texas, but was released in June. Did that add any extra incentive on Thursday?
“No, I’m starting to face teams that have released me a couple times now,” Gee joked. “You can’t have a grudge against everybody.”