Former Cleburne Yellow Jacket standout Dillon Gee has been named the Opening Day starter for the New York Mets.

Gee will take the mound for the Mets in their season opener against the Washington Nationals and ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg at 12:10 p.m. Monday at Citi Field in New York.

Gee, 27, will become the 23rd pitcher to start on Opening Day for the Mets. The former Jacket and UT-Arlington product has been solid in spring training as he has allowed only one run and 16 hits while striking out 12 without a walk in 14 2/3 exhibition innings.

The announcement of Gee taking the hill on Opening Day comes less than two seasons ago when Gee faced a scare that ended his 2012 season when he had a clot in his right shoulder that partially blocked blood flow to his pitching arm. He underwent emergency surgery during the All-Star break and did not return the remainder of that season.

Gee then got off to a rough start to the 2013 season when he had a 6.34 ERA in his first 10 regular-season starts and was reportedly in danger of getting bounced from the rotation. But beginning with an impressive start on May 30 against the crosstown New York Yankees in an interleague game, Gee went 9-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 21 starts throughout the rest of the campaign. The 2.79 ERA was the fifth best in the National League during that span, trailing only Miami’s Jose Fernandez (1.50), Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw (1.91), Los Angeles’ Zack Greinke (2.35) and St. Louis’ Madison Bumgarner (2.57).

“He had one of the best second halves in baseball last year, so it doesn’t surprise me,” Mets captain David Wright told ESPN. “He deserves it. The way he finished up last year, it’s well deserved. I’m extremely happy for Dillon.

“The whole Opening Day starter thing, you can think what you want, but it’s a tremendous honor and well deserved — especially with being a start away from who knows what and then throwing the way he did against the Yankees and finishing up, like I said, one of the most productive pitchers in the game.”

In six starts against division rival Washington last season, Gee went 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 39 2/3 innings pitched. He allowed 39 hits, 12 runs and eight walks while recording 27 strikeouts and holding the Nats to a .257 batting average.

According to ESPN, Gee and the Mets settled on a one-year contract for $3.625 million for the 2014 season on Jan. 17 to avoid arbitration.

With Mets’ ace Matt Harvey recovering from Tommy John surgery, Jonathon Niese was expected to be the Mets’ Opening Day starter for the second straight year, but Niese will instead open the season on the disabled list. Niese received a cortisone injection in his left elbow last week to try to alleviate inflammation, but is expected to pitch on April 6 against Cincinnati.

As a senior for the Yellow Jackets, Gee was named to the all-state, all-county and all-district teams, and he was a member of the 2004 Cleburne baseball team that advanced to the state semifinals.

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