ATLANTA - Throughout his spring training in limbo, Dillon Gee insisted that he wouldn't be bogged down by the uncertainty of his future.
On the eve of his first 2015 start, though, Gee said he didn't bother locking down a place to live until about a week ago. "I definitely waited a lot longer to get an apartment," said the Mets righthander, who will oppose the Braves' Julio Teheran on Saturday.
Gee, 28, nearly was traded in the offseason. He began spring training as the odd man out of the rotation until a spot came open when Zack Wheeler suffered a season-ending elbow injury.
Rafael Montero made a strong last-minute bid but the Mets stuck with Gee, who is 40-34 with a 3.91 ERA in five seasons with the Mets. "We're very lucky that he's still here," manager Terry Collins said.
Gee has been particularly tough on the Braves. In six career starts at Turner Field, he is 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA.
Gee settled on a place a few weeks ago, but it came at the expense of a teammate. John Mayberry Jr. had been eyeing the same place, but Gee beat him to submitting a deposit.
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud didn't mind a rare bit of contact in the 5-3 loss to the Braves. In the second inning, he blocked home plate as Andrelton Simmons tried to score from third. Because d'Arnaud had the ball, Simmons was allowed to bowl over the catcher.
Despite raising his forearm and knocking d'Arnaud on his back, Simmons couldn't dislodge the ball.
"It was a great baseball play," d'Arnaud said. "I would have done the same thing if I was running . . . it was exciting for me."
Meet the Matz
In his debut for Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, Ward Melville product Steven Matz did not factor in the decision while allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings against Fresno. Matz, 23, allowed three hits, walked three and struck out four . . . Mayberry will see regular action against lefthanded pitching, Collins said.