Gee has been stabilizing force in Mets' rotation

Gee has been stabilizing force in Mets' rotation

WASHINGTON -- Dillon Gee took the ball for the Mets' series opener against the Nationals on Friday, his 27th start of the season. The right-hander made his first start on April 4 and has made his turn in the rotation every time.

That makes him stand out in the Mets' 2013 rotation.

Johan Santana had season-ending surgery before throwing a pitch in the regular season. Shaun Marcum began the year on the disabled list, went back on in July and later was released. Jon Niese missed more than a month. Jenrry Mejia made five starts before hitting the DL with a bone spur in his right elbow. Jeremy Hefner had Tommy John surgery this week, and Matt Harvey is trying to avoid the same fate.

The Mets have used 11 different starters, leaving manager Terry Collins to call Gee "a huge savior" for the club, thanks to his consistent presence in the rotation.

"I don't think there's a manager who'd ever say, 'Gee, I think we're gonna lose all five of our starters coming into the season.' Or, 'I think we're gonna lose four of the five of them,'" Collins said. "The only thing you worry about is, 'Hey, do I have a couple guys backing up, because there's a good chance we might lose somebody.'

"Again, the best pitching staff's the healthiest pitching staff. It's not always the most talented. Because when those pitching staffs get hurt and guys are going down and you're always trying to fill in and find a guy to give you an inning or a start -- spot start here and call up a guy, pull a guy out of the bullpen -- it disrupts the unity of the pitching staff. So the more consistent you can be about running those guys out there every five days, it gives you a chance to win."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.