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Dillon Gee officially named Mets' Opening Day starter

The minor injury to Jon Niese has forced Terry Collins to go with another underrated veteran.

As a 21st round draft pick out of the University of Texas at Arlington, Dillon Gee has already given the Mets more than they could have asked for. He's made 76 starts over the last three seasons, and in two of those seasons he's kept his strikeout-to-walk rate above 3:1. Gee is a legitimate big league rotation starter, and last year he posted career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts, and WAR at age 27.

On March 31, he'll be rewarded for all his hard work by making an Opening Day start for the team that drafted him. Today, the Mets officially announced what we've known was probable since Jon Niese go hurt: Gee is going to be the first Mets pitcher to start a regular season game in 2014.

From a pragmatic standpoint, being named the Opening Day starter is not a big deal, but there is a certain intangible value that goes along with the honor. The organization is showing faith in Gee to put up a good showing against Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. The move is also a nod to Gee's veteran leadership.

At least that's what I think it means from sitting on my couch. I'm more sure of the fact that this is a big deal for Dillon Gee, so we should be happy for him.