The Brewers made it official and named Carlos Gomez their leadoff hitter to start the 2014 season.
Following the December trade of Norichika Aoki, manager Ron Roenicke was forced to explore a variety of different options before selecting Gomez. While Gomez is not a prototypical leadoff hitter, he brings speed, power and excitement to the top of the order for the Brewers.
“I’m liking what I see so far, so unless something happens in these few games after [Monday's] off-day, we’re going to go with it,” Roenicke said via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
The move allows Roenicke to keep Jean Segura in the two-hole, a spot he excelled in during his All-Star campaign last year. Following Gomez and Segura will be Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Jonathan Lucroy, leaving Khris Davis and the first base and second base platoons to fill the rest of lineup.
Gomez is an aggressive hitter and at times, will not see the number of pitches one would want from a leadoff hitter. Still, Roenicke now has a guy that matches his style as a manager in this role. Gomez and Segura give the Brewers the speed at the top of the lineup that Roenicke prefers. Segura was second in the National League with 44 stolen bases last season, and Gomez was fourth with 40 steals. Roenicke has said that he intends to continue to be aggressive on the base paths in 2014. If healthy the Brewers could put a lot of pressure on opponents given the speed Gomez and Segura provide as well as the proven run producers behind them.
The acquisition of Matt Garza has put most of the focus on the improved pitching and organizational depth the Brewers now boast, but with the return of Ryan Braun and a healthy Aramis Ramirez the offense should also see much improvement. Still, the key as always, is the guys in front of Braun and Ramirez and the Brewers made the best choice by putting Gomez in that spot.