Posted by Steve
It’s funny how a former whipping boy can become a strength when his manager simply uses him properly.
Ever since Ron Roenicke stopped playing Carlos Gomez every day (and hitting him second quite often), he has been a very valuable player. He’s managed an .800 OPS against lefties, and his defense in center field is phenomenal. It’s the reason he was having his best season ever: a 1.7 WAR already in part-time duty.
Both teams would be willing to take a mulligan on that bottom of the fourth inning yesterday. Stephen Drew’s ankle injury was classically disgusting–I yelled out when I saw the replay. Then Gomez made a great catch that unfortunately had “broken collarbone” written all over it.
The center field platoon has been a big strength for the Brewers this year, so this injury is potentially a big loss. Fortunately, based on what I’ve been reading on Brett Carroll, there’s a chance it won’t be. The speed factor is lost, but Carroll is graded out as a good defensive CF at fangraphs. Plus, apparently his arm is fantastic (not that Gomez’s isn’t). He is having a decent season at AAA with a .281/.356/.469 slash line, but this seems like it was done for his defense–something I am on board with.
The one way this is potentially dangerous is if Roenicke forgets how impressive the platoon has been. Nyjer Morgan should not play against left-handed pitchers, as he’s proven over his career that he cannot hit them. Carroll is righty, so they can use the exact platoon they used with Gomez.
Here’s hoping Gomez can make it back sometime in September, although it seems like the likelihood of that may be low.