Houston Astros 2015 Season Recap: Carlos Gomez

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Houston Astros 30 Players in 30 Days: Carlos Gomez

The New York Mets signed Carlos Gomez as an amateur free agent at the age of 16 in 2002. Gomez stayed in the Mets minor-league system until 2007 when he made his major-league debut with the team, hitting .232 with two home runs in 58 games. In the Spring of 2008, he was sent to the Minnesota Twins as part of a package for Johan Santana. He would play the entire 2008 season with the Twins and hit .258/.296/.360 with seven home runs, 59 RBIs, and 33 stolen bases. Gomez would play only one season with the Twins, though, as the Milwaukee Brewers traded for the center fielder in exchange for J.J. Hardy.

His breakout season would come in 2012 when he hit 19 home runs, stole 37 bases and became one of the premier defensive center fielders in baseball. In 2013, Gomez hit 24 home runs, 73 RBIs and slashed .284/.338/.506 while posting an 8.5 WAR. He maintained similar numbers in 2014 and more of the same was expected in 2015, but he did not get out to the same start as the previous two seasons. On July 30, the 44-58 Brewers decided to trade Gomez to the Houston Astros along with Mike Fiers in exchange for Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser, and Domingo Santana.

Gomez had a rough start to begin his 2015 season, batting only .235 with one home run in eight games before he was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury. He came back stronger in May with four home runs and in June he hit .297/.333, but only slugged .365 without no home runs. Gomez played sparingly for two weeks in June as he dealt with a sore right hip and groin.

July was rough offensively for Gomez as he slashed .237/.363/.421 as the Brewers began to shop him around. The team that drafted Gomez – the New York Mets – came close to reacquiring the center fielder a day before the trade deadline, but the deal was called off over concerns about his hip.

The Astros felt that he was still in good enough shape to help the team and traded for the center fielder while the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes. Gomez would debut with the Astros on July 31 and immediately become the team’s starting center fielder. Gomez went 0-for-5 in his first game with the team but followed up with a three-hit performance the next day.

Gomez hit his first home run as an Astro on Aug. 4 against the Texas Rangers – a two-run shot off of Yovani Gallardo. He would soon after hit a wall offensively, and in his first three weeks with the team, Gomez was hitting only .181/.218/.241 in 22 games. His average bottomed out at .244 on Aug.24, but he hit a groove to end the month and start September.

Right when the Astros were getting the production they expected from Gomez, he suffered an intercostal strain on Sept. 13 and would be sidelined for 13 crucial games at the end of the year. He returned on Sept. 27 as a pinch runner and made a pinch-hit appearance the next day in Seattle. Gomez made his first start in three weeks on Sept. 30 and went 2-for-4, but missed the rest of the regular season as the strain proved too much to play through.

As the postseason started, Gomez decided to play through the pain and in the Wild Card game he hit a huge solo shot to left field in the top of the fourth inning off of Masahiro Tanaka. The injury would once again be too much, and Gomez missed Game 1 and 2 of the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals before returning for Game 3 and going 1-for-3. In the bottom of the second inning in Game 4, Gomez launched a home run to left field off Yordano Ventura to give the team a 2-0 lead and would finish the day with another hit. Gomez would go for 0-for-3 in Game 5 as the Astros were eliminated from the postseason.

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In 2015 between the Brewers and Astros, Gomez had his lowest batting average (.255), home run (12), and stolen base (17) totals since 2011 and his 0.7 WAR was his lowest since 2010. With the Astros, he slashed .242/.288/.383 and hit four home runs in 41 games.

More Houston Astros Season Recaps:

  1. Vince Velasquez
  2. Tony Sipp
  3. Jonathan Villar
  4. Preston Tucker
  5. Mike Fiers
  6. Hank Conger
  7. Chad Qualls
  8. Jon Singleton
  9. Joe Thatcher
  10. Marwin Gonzalez
  11. Josh Fields
  12. Jake Marisnick
  13. Pat Neshek
  14. Jed Lowrie
  15. Luis Valbuena
  16. Scott Feldman
  17. Evan Gattis
  18. Will Harris
  19. Luke Gregerson
  20. Chris Carter
  21. Jason Castro
  22. Scott Kazmir

What to expect in 2016

Gomez has all of the tools to be a superstar and is in his prime at 30 years old. He is entering the final year of his contract in 2016 while coming off of a down year. This seems like the perfect storm for the center fielder to bounce back with an All-Star caliber season.

Next: Is Collin McHugh for Andrew Miller a smart move?

When healthy, the fiery Gomez is one of the best all-around center fielders in baseball and Astros fans will see more of that than they did in 2015.

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