Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez has decided to focus on the upcoming season rather than play for Team Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Even with his withdrawal, along with minor-league pitcher Nick Bucci, the Brewers will still have 13 players competing for their respective countries.
Dropping out of the WBC is a blantly brilliant career move for the 27-year-old. 2013 will be a make-or-break year for Gomez, who will test the free agent waters once it comes to a close. Not only will Gomez be playing for a new contract from the Brewers, he will be auditioning for 29 other teams in case he gets the boot from Milwaukee. Ruining his chances of a big payday by injuring himself in the WBC is the last thing Gomez needs.
He also didn’t think the WBC would fully prepare him for the season.
This year is really important to me for my career. I’m going to take advantage of spring training because if I go to the WBC that is going to be wasted time for me. I won’t have the time I need to prepare for the year I want. I think it will help more for me to stay here and prepare for the season.
Thanks to being the everyday centerfielder in 2012, Gomez had the most well-rounded season of his young career. He posted career-highs in batting average (.260), home runs (19), on-base percentage (.305), slugging percentage (.463), and stolen bases (37). If he can improve those numbers or at least duplicate them, Gomez will be a hot commodity in free agency, especially with his above-average outfield play.
Gomez did himself a favor by removing his name from the WBC roster. Participating in a full spring training will allow him to do whatever is necessary to get ready for the biggest season of his career.