It’s no secret that Dillon Gee has struggled so far this season, but it appears even Gee can’t figure out why. I was really hoping Ron Darling would be calling last nights game as I thought he brought up a great point during his last start. He showed a still image of Gee’s release point last year compared to this year and he has clearly dropped his arm angle down this year compared to last.
Although Gee has never been one to throw right over the top, a slight chance in any pitchers release point can cause problems. I first noticed in a spring training start that he appeared to be throwing from a lower angle but didn’t give it all that much thought. The more starts he threw the more apparent this became to me that this may be a part of Gee’s struggles. When you drop your arm angle down in such a way you will begin to gain different movement than he once had. Gee’s pitches have always had a dip allowing him to get a lot of ground ball outs. But this year his ball doesn’t seem to have that same drop and tends to have more of a lateral movement which could be caused by his new release point.
Gee has also been struggling with his fastball as he barely touches 90 mph throughout the course of a game now. Despite his decrease in velocity, he has not taken much off of his change-up to compensate. Without a significant speed difference on the two pitches hitters will continue to square up on the ball. Between his lose in velocity and the change in his arm angle I hope this is simply a mechanics issue and not any arm issues hindering that sometimes cause pitchers to make these changes. That is not to say Gee is hurt, just a thought that comes to my mind when I notice this in pitchers.
I don’t consider myself to be an expert on pitching mechanics, but I do believe that Ron Darling is. When this is something that Darling points out during a broadcast and even I notice at home watching the game, why can’t Dan Warthen and Dillon Gee? Now, I don’t think this would solve all of his problems, but I do believe this would be a start in the right direction.