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Friday, July 22, 2011

Carlos Gomez Will Be Missed

Carlos Gomez broke his collar bone Wednesday on a typically exceptional diving catch that just might have saved the win for the Crew at that early stage of the game against the Diamondbacks. A tough break (literally and figuratively) for Gomez who always gives it his all. Gomez is likely out for the season and I, for one, will greatly miss his glove in center field, even if Nyjer Morgan has shown that he deserves to start there on a regular basis.

Gomez's struggles at the plate have been well documented. For each of the past two years I've hoped that something might click in his approach at the plate that might help him swing at less bad pitches and hit more line drives, allowing him to better use his speed on the base paths. That hasn't happened, but Gomez is truly a valuable piece of this team. He plays with abandon in center field, often putting his body on the line for his team, and consistently makes plays that very few center fielders across the majors can. For just a couple examples, watch his catch of a Colby Rasmus fly ball from June 12, and this one off Carlos Beltran on June 7.

His speed helps him contribute on offense more than he otherwise might, most notably shown in this inside the park home run against the Giants on May 28. Ron Roenicke seems to have mastered the art of getting the most out of Gomez, starting him against left handed pitchers (.269 average against lefties), using him as a late-inning defensive replacement, and as a pinch runner. I never thought I'd say this, but the Brewers are a worse team without him. His teammates love him and respect him, and Carlos Gomez will be missed.

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