Carlos Gomez Headed to Disabled List
Yesterday, amidst the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Gomez left the game with an apparent hamstring injury. While running out a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning of last night’s game, Gomez felt a “pop” in his hamstring, and immediately limped off the field. Gomez was not in the lineup for today’s 4-0 loss to St. Louis, and in fact, he had headed back to Milwaukee early in order to be evaluated by the Brewer’s medical staff. It has since been announced that Gomez will indeed land on the 15 day disabled list.
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Brewers’ assistant GM Gord Ash described Carlos’ injury as a “small defect” in his right hamstring. Gomez received a cortisone shot, but will be reevaluated during the team’s next homestand. No timetable has yet been announced for Go-Go to return to action.
Carlos, like many other Brewers so far this season, had gotten off to a relatively slow start at the plate. In 35 plate appearances while batting at lead off, Gomez had managed eight hits and just one walk. He does have one of the Brewers three team home runs, but has managed only a .302 wOBA and .698 OPS so far this year. Gomez has been one of the most dynamic offensive players in the game since 2013, however, ranking fourth in fWAR during that time while hitting 47 home runs and stealing 74 bases.
In his stead, the Brewers will likely turn to Gerardo Parra for the majority of the starts Gomez will miss. As far as fourth outfielders go, a team can’t do much better than Parra. Despite a down season last year, Parra has proven he can be a roughly league average offensive player (career OPS+ of 94) while providing the stellar defensive value that has won him two Gold Gloves. Parra obviously doesn’t have the same offensive capabilities as Carlos does, but he’s a much better everyday option than, say, Logan Schafer.
As far as replacing Gomez at leadoff, that will be another tall order for a team that is already struggling to score runs. Jean Segura started there today, and has been among the hottest hitters for the Brewers to start the season after some offseason adjustments have been paying off. Scooter Gennett, who has had a rough start to the year, hit leadoff during most of spring training and could represent another option to bat at the top of the order. Neither of these players would provide much on base ability while batting first, which should be the number one priority of a leadoff hitter. I’d really love to see Roenicke go outside the box and try the Brewers best on base guy, Jonathan Lucroy, at the leadoff. Though Roenicke apparently thinks it’s too early for major lineup changes, something needs to be done to try and get these Brewers’ hitters going.
Shane Peterson is the only other outfielder listed on the Brewers’ 40 man roster, and seems like the most likely candidate to be called up to fill Gomez’s roster spot. He has been among several players tearing it up for the Sky Sox so far this season. Elian Herrera has also started hot in AAA, and can play all over the diamond. He is not, however, on the 40 man roster. Bat first players like Matt Clark and Jason Rogers also have some minor league outfield experience, and could play the corners in a pinch. The Brewers won’t announce a roster move until tomorrow.
The Brewers fell to 2-7 with their loss to St. Louis earlier today, giving them three straight losing series to start the year. Milwaukee continues their road trip in Pittsburgh, with Jimmy Nelson taking the mound at PNC Park against the 3-6 Pirates. Nelson dazzled his last time out, debuting his new curveball and striking out nine in seven shutout innings, picking up the Brewers first win. He’ll face off against the Jeff Locke, who defeated the Brewers last week.