MIAMI -- The Mets are eyeing Tuesday for Dillon Gee to make his first minor-league appearance since landing on the disabled list on May 11 with a strained right lat muscle. The rehab start would occur in the Gulf Coast League.
New York Mets
Gee threw a 50-pitch bullpen session for pitching coach Dan Warthen. It marked the right-hander's second time throwing off a mound since the injury.
"Today I felt like I almost could have been in a game. I felt good. I felt normal," Gee said. "I'd say the last week I really took a giant step forward. When I first started to pick up a ball, I was a little bit timid and stuff -- almost trying to search for things, feeling every little thing. In the past week I've been letting it go and it's felt great. I'm recovering every day. It's all been positive these last couple of weeks. And today was just another positive step."
The Mets plan for Gee to make multiple rehab starts before being activated from the disabled list, so it's not like Gee is imminently returning to the majors.
"Probably a few," Gee said about the number of rehab appearances. "I threw 50 today, but throwing 50 pitches in the bullpen is way different than throwing them against hitters. When you're competing, you tend to kind of get out of your mechanics sometimes in games. And that can tend to make you more sore than normal.
"I think the plan right now is maybe pitch a couple of innings the first time out. ... And then maybe have like three or four days off. And then try to do three or four innings, and from there see how I really feel to see what the next step is."
Gee reiterated his regret for doing too much too soon after initially suffering the injury. He speculated that he would have been back in the majors by now had he not rushed early in the process.
Gee was back throwing on flat ground within a week of originally suffering the side-muscle injury. And rather than space out his work, he started throwing too frequently and with too much intensity, against the staff's recommendations. Gee eventually had a May 25 setback, on the day he initially intended to step on a mound. After airing out two pitches on flat ground, he felt a "pretty sharp pain" -- far more severe than the discomfort he was experiencing when he first landed on the disabled list two weeks earlier.
"I'm kicking myself like crazy," Gee said, "because if I wouldn't have done that, I'd probably be back by now. I was talking to Murph about that, just how I was mad at myself for not listening to the guys around me telling me to take it easy at the beginning. I could be out there right now. He was like, 'I think that's what makes us who we are. We just want to be out there no matter what.' Sometimes we push ourselves a little bit too much.
"I was trying to get them to get me in games sooner, and less days between games," Gee continued. "And [Warthen] was like, 'No. Just stick with the plan. We want you back healthy and no more setbacks.'"