Right-hander Dillon Gee is tied with southpaw Pat Misch for the Buffalo Bisons’ win lead at 11. And when Gee faces Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, the 21st-round pick in 2007 out of Texas-Arlington will have the opportunity to set Buffalo’s single-season strikeout record.
Gee has 132 strikeouts in 134 2/3 innings this season, while producing a 4.73 ERA in 23 starts for the Bisons.
Buffalo’s modern-era strikeout record currently is held by Vicente Palacios, who had 137 in 1990. Gee’s 132 strikeouts lead the International League, ahead of Charlotte’s Carlos Torres (126), Durham’s Jeremy Hellickson (123), Gwinnett’s Todd Redmond (118) and Louisville’s Aroldis Chapman (112).
“I never have before seen myself as a strikeout pitcher, but I guess it’s kind of fallen into place this year that way. I’m getting a lot of swings and misses right now,” said Gee, who had 114 strikeouts in 154 1/3 innings in 2008 with St. Lucie and Binghamton. “I have a few strikeouts in a game with pretty much each pitch. Depending on if it’s a righty or a lefty, I strike them out with all four of them.”
Gee, 24, received positive reviews in major league spring training camp in 2009, but his regular season was limited to nine starts last year with Buffalo because of a shoulder injury. Gee did not reappear after a May 25 start for the Bisons against Lehigh Valley. He was diagnosed with a mild labrum tear. Rehab, not surgery, was prescribed.
“They said if you MRI’d 100 pitchers, 85 would have it,” Gee said. “You could have had surgery, but they said as young as I am, let’s just try to rehab it and see if you can bounce back. At the time I kind of did want surgery. I was like, ‘Man, I want to get it fixed. It’s not going to fix itself.’ Now, looking back, I’m so glad we didn’t. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s feeling right now.
“This year has been extremely rewarding for me -- not only being healthy, but the success I am having a little bit. I’ve had some bad times this year, but I think I’ve bounced back well. After the year I had last year, I couldn’t picture this going much better.”
Average: Darrell Ceciliani, Brooklyn, .374; Javier Rodriguez, Kingsport, .327; Eric Campbell, St. Lucie, .321; Justin Schafer, Brooklyn, .320; Joe Bonfe, Brooklyn, .317; Cory Vaughn, Brooklyn, .313; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .312; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, .304; Sean Ratliff, Binghamton, .302; Julio Concepcion, GCL Mets, .300.
Homers: Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 21; Mike Hessman, Buffalo, 18; Nick Evans, Buffalo, 18; Sean Ratliff, Binghamton, 18.
RBIs: Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 78; Sean Ratliff, Binghamton, 71; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 70; Nick Evans, Buffalo, 65; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, 63.
Steals: Cesar Puello, Savannah, 45; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 31; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, 25; Emmanuel Garcia, St. Lucie, 18; Darrell Ceciliani, Brooklyn, 17.
ERA: Angel Cuan, Brooklyn, 1.55; Yohan Almonte, Brooklyn, 1.92; Jimmy Fuller, St. Lucie, 2.26; Wesley Wrenn, Brooklyn, 2.72; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 2.79; Brandon Moore, St. Lucie, 2.97; Pat Misch, Buffalo, 3.23; Edioglis Villasmil, GCL Mets, 3.26; Collin McHugh, Savannah, 3.45; Armando Rodriguez, Savannah, 3.62.
Wins: Pat Misch, Buffalo, 11; Dillon Gee, Buffalo, 11; Josh Stinson, Binghamton, 9; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 9.
Saves: Michael Powers, St. Lucie, 15; Manuel Alvarez, Binghamton, 14; Jose Bierd, St. Lucie, 8; Ryan Fraser, Brooklyn, 8.
Strikeouts: Brandon Moore, St. Lucie, 134; Dillon Gee, Buffalo, 132; Mike Antonini, Binghamton, 111; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 109; Armando Rodriguez, Savannah, 107.
Escogido GM Moises Alou, who won the Caribbean Series title with Triple-A Buffalo manager Ken Oberkfell at the helm, is expected to bring back Oberkfell to manage the Dominican Winter League club again during the upcoming season. … Buffalo pitching coach Ricky Bones will represent the Mets organization in that capacity in the Arizona Fall League. Bones will coach prospects from the Mets as well as from the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates with the Mesa Solar Sox, based at Hohokam Stadium. The remainder of the staff: manager Casey Kopitzke (Cubs) and hitting coach Mark Parent (Phillies). Rosters have not been set, but one potential Mets participant is second baseman Reese Havens, the 22nd overall pick in 2008 out of the University of South Carolina. Havens has been limited to 32 games this season between Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton and may not return during the regular season because of oblique issues. Havens last appeared for the B-Mets on June 11. … Center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis earned a promotion from Binghamton to Buffalo last Thursday. Nieuwenhuis hit .289 with 16 homers, 60 RBIs and 13 steals in 20 attempts in 94 games with the B-Mets. … Pat Misch tossed five scoreless innings against Lehigh Valley on Tuesday and was pulled after 55 pitches, signaling he may start over Hisanori Takahashi on Saturday against the Phillies at Citi Field. Philadelphia outfielder Shane Victorino went 1-for-2 in his first rehab game with Lehigh Valley, including a first-inning single to left off Misch. … The Bisons cannot gain ground on Louisville for the International League’s lone wild-card berth despite strong play. Louisville has won 30 of its past 36 games to maintain a 3½-game lead over Buffalo. The roster of Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate includes pitchers Micah Owings and Chapman. … Buffalo left fielder Lucas Duda has scored a run in 13 of his last 14 games. During his current eight-game hitting streak, the University of Southern California product is hitting .414 (12-for-29). Duda has 44 RBIs in 49 games with the Herd. … Outfielder Jesus Feliciano returned to the Bisons in style, scoring four times Monday in his first game following a demotion that cleared room on the major league roster for Fernando Martinez’s promotion. … Left-hander Mike Antonini limited Lehigh Valley to one run on five hits while striking out five and walking none in six innings in his first Triple-A appearance of 2010. With Antonini promoted, Binghamton’s rotation is set with Chris Schwinden scheduled to pitch Wednesday, Jenrry Mejia on Thursday, Robert Carson on Friday, Josh Stinson on Saturday and Mark Cohoon on Sunday. … Reliever Brian Bruney (4.50 ERA in eight appearances) was placed on the disabled list with Buffalo. … The Bisons will see plenty of ex-Met Carlos Delgado, who signed with the Boston Red Sox and was assigned to Triple-A. Buffalo faces Pawtucket 10 times in the next two weeks. … Orlando Hernandez tossed 1 2/3 scoreless relief innings against Binghamton on Tuesday. … Mejia topped out at 98 mph and mostly resided in the mid-90s with his fastball in his return to the B-Mets following a shoulder strain. In his first appearance for the B-Mets since June 27, Mejia tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings last weekend at Trenton, allowing three hits, two walks and striking out four. … Third baseman Eric Campbell, who had been out since breaking a pinkie getting hit by a pitch with Double-A Binghamton on June 22, has been activated from the B-Mets’ disabled list and assigned to St. Lucie. Campbell opened the season in the Florida State League, and hit .336 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 143 at-bats with that club. Campbell had been promoted from St. Lucie to Binghamton when Zach Lutz had a foot stress fracture. Lutz has seven homers in 45 at-bats since returning to the B-Mets after recovering from his injury. … Jordany Valdespin, who has received repeated praise from GM Omar Minaya, received a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton. He likely will receive the bulk of the playing time at second base with the B-Mets. With Nick Evans’ promotion to Triple-A, incumbent B-Mets second baseman Josh Satin instead can see action at first base. Valdespin hit .289 with six homers, 33 RBIs and 13 steals in 23 attempts in 270 at-bats in the Florida State League. A scout who recently watched Valdespin said he needs to reduce his pronounced head movement during his swing, which makes him vulnerable to breaking pitches. … The B-Mets had been 12-0 in starts by Josh Stinson before he lost Sunday at Trenton. Overall, Stinson is 9-2 with a 3.63 ERA and a save in 31 appearances (13 starts) for the B-Mets. … Although Carson remains winless in five Double-A starts, he had his best outing for the B-Mets on Friday. Carson (0-4, 7.46 ERA with Binghamton) tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings and induced three double plays in a no-decision in Trenton’s eventual 7-4 win. … Manager Wally Backman and his coaching staff will be accompanied by eight Brooklyn Cyclones players at the New York-Penn League All-Star Game next Tuesday at Staten Island. The Cyclones all-stars: right-hander Yohan Almonte, third baseman Joe Bonfe, center fielder Darrell Ceciliani, left-hander Angel Cuan, first baseman Jeff Flagg, right-hander Ryan Fraser, shortstop Rylan Sandoval and right fielder Cory Vaughn. Vaughn, a fourth-round pick out of San Diego State and the son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn, leads the league in homers (12) and RBIs (44). The single-season franchise records for the 10-year-old Cyclones: 13 homers by Frank Corr in the inaugural season in 2001, and 46 RBIs by Jason Jacobs in ’07, Ambiorix Concepcion in ’04 and Corr in ’01. Ceciliani leads the league in average (.374), hits (76), runs (44), triples (10) and total bases (114). … Fifth-round pick Matt den Dekker went 4-for-9 with a double, three runs scored and three RBIs in his first two games with the Sand Gnats. He sign with the Mets after helping lead the University of Florida to its first College World Series appearance in five years. … Nick Santomauro extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games Tuesday, during which he has hit .333 (13-for-39) with three doubles for Savannah. Santomauro nonetheless has a .195 average in 68 South Atlantic League games.
Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season