The Astros’ Carlos Gomez Effect.
The Houston Astros have had trouble scoring runs recently, so pitchers have tried to limit the other team. Collin McHugh was pitching good yesterday before the fifth inning where things fell apart. Following the game, McHugh played the great teammate and said he didn’t blame the missed plays for allowing the three runs.
McHugh pointed to the fact that he gave up ten hits led to the Astros losing 3-1 to the Twins. McHugh may be saying the right thing publicly, but any fan would tell you that Carlos Gomez made two mistakes that led to the first two runs of the game.
For those of you who were unable to watch, both of the plays that Gomez messed up on resulted in two triples and both runners scored. The plays may not be called errors, but they were plays that could have been played better. Following the game, Hinch said that Gomez would not be in the lineup for tonight’s game according to Brian McTaggart.
One of the plays, the ball bounced in front of Gomez, and he went to catch it after the bounce. Instead of catching the ball, it got by Gomez and went all the way to the wall.
The other play was probably much worse. Off the bat, Gomez ran in on the ball, but Jake Marisnick screamed at him to go back. The ball landed on the warning track for a triple. Gomez was apologetic after the game yesterday. In an interview on 790 this morning, Hinch says that he defends his players, but the play of Gomez recently has represented the overall team over the last 12 games.
While Gomez is not the only person hurting the Astros, his lack of consistent hitting with a .077 batting average in August. The last time that he made two errors like this, the Astros put him on the DL the next day. The problem this time around is that he is not hurt, but there are very few options to replace him at this point.
Colby Rasmus is on the DL, and Jake Marisnick has taken over the everyday role while he is on the DL. The Astros can play Preston Tucker or Tony Kemp in place of Gomez tonight, but who becomes that everyday guy for the Astros? The Astros expect that Yulieski Gurriel should be ready by next week versus the Cardinals, but either he or Alex Bregman will have to play left field.
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My guess is that Tucker goes down when Gurriel is ready. The Astros would probably have to rely less on Gomez as time goes by. The Astros front office is likely to be as frustrated as we are with Gomez, but what can they do? They could put him on waivers and hope someone claims him and takes on the rest of his contract. However, what if he becomes a great player on the new team?
Most likely a team would not claim him, but could be interested in trading for him once he clears waivers. They would want the Astros to pick up most of the remaining money. They can’t send him to the minors without going through waivers unless they get his permission. Gomez has pride and would not want to go down.
While people can say that we have put too much criticism onto Gomez, his play has not helped his cause. He could just be in a season long slump, but maybe his career is on the decline. It is to be seen if he loses extended playing time.
It might be time to move on from Gomez, to start looking for the player to help in 2017. To Gomez’s credit, he has reached out to Gurriel to help him with his transition to the big leagues. The Astros have a pressing decision to make about where they go from here. There is a chance that Rasmus and Gomez’s careers are both over.
***Stats from Baseball-Refence***