- Last Updated: 9:35 AM, July 11, 2012
- Posted: 2:39 AM, July 11, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Mets’ good feelings of the All-Star break took a hit Tuesday when the team placed starting pitcher Dillon Gee on the 15-day disabled list because of a clot in an artery in his right shoulder.
Doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York used a catheter to break up the clot, the Mets said in a statement, and a source familiar with the situation said that an aneurysm has been ruled out. Nevertheless, Gee remained hospitalized Saturday night, to ensure that the clot is fully resolved, and his immediate baseball future is indeterminate.
“I’m really nervous for [Gee],” Mets manager Terry Collins said at Kauffman Stadium before the All-Star Game. “I’m scared for him. Hopefully they got it.”
Added Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey: “The level [of concern] is probably high. Anybody that has a blood clot, that’s a big deal.”
Sharif Ellozy, a vascular surgeon for The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, said, “Any time the artery is involved, it could be serious.”
Ellozy said that, given the symptoms described, Gee could have thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that can result from a pitcher’s repetitive motion. St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter has that and will miss the entire season. Nevertheless, the Mets don’t believe at this time that Gee’s ailment is that serious.
For now, Collins said, veteran Miguel Batista will replace Gee in the Mets’ starting rotation, though the club won’t need a fifth starter until July 21. If Batista falters, however, then prized youngster Matt Harvey could get his first major-league opportunity sooner than later.
Gee has a 6-7 record and 4.10 ERA in 17 starts, covering 109 ²/₃ innings, this season. He defeated the Cubs on Saturday with a strong, eight-inning outing, and the next day, Dickey said, Gee approached him with a question.
“He actually came to me in the dugout and asked me to feel his hand,” Dickey said. “It felt pretty cool to me, comparatively speaking to my hands or his other hand. I said, ‘You might want to mention it to Ray [Ramirez, Mets head trainer].’ He did.”
“Extensive testing” was conducted Monday, the Mets said, until doctors discovered the clot. Mets third baseman David Wright said he spoke with Gee Monday night by telephone.
“You could hear it in his voice that he was worried,” Wright said. “You’re talking about not just baseball, but about being healthy as an individual. I got a chance to talk to him for a few minutes. He was upbeat. We talked about baseball for a little while.”
Gee’s timeline can’t be calculated until the doctors know for certain that the clot is gone. Ellozy said that the key will be what doctors find in the affected artery. Treatment could range from blood thinners to surgery. An athlete usually would rest while taking blood thinners, Ellozy said.
“My concern is, obviously, what the rehabilitation time is going to be,” Collins said. “Is he going to miss a month? Is he going to miss two months? Is he going to miss the rest of the season? So we can start to move forward with whatever moves we need to make.”
Gee was scheduled to start the Mets’ first game out of the All-Star break, Friday night in Atlanta. Chris Young will now get that assignment. Dickey will start Saturday and either Johan Santana or Jon Niese will go on Sunday, depending on the status of Santana’s injured right ankle. Whoever doesn’t start Sunday will pitch Tuesday in Washington.
Collins said Harvey, the Mets’ first-round selection in the 2010 amateur draft, already has come up in discussions. The 23-year-old right-hander is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts (totaling 98 ¹/₃ innings) for Triple-A Buffalo. He has struck out 102 and walked 42.
“I want to make sure he is ready,” Collins said. “I don’t want to put a kid in a situation where he is going to fail. That’s not fair. That’s not fair to him. I talk to Wally [Backman, Buffalo manager] all the time and Wally tells me things that he thinks he’s got to work on to get better to be able to compete up here. When he tells me he’s there, then we will make a decision.’’Follow @NYPostsports