Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Carlos Gomez decision

The Astros have a very important decision to make over the next few weeks. What to do with Carlos Gomez. The answer seems obvious. Keep him. When you look at his numbers however that might not be the obvious call.

I like Gomez. He's fun to watch. He plays a mean centerfield and he has a proven track record. The problem is that he is having the worst year of his career. His numbers on offense and defense are down this year. He has a 57 wRC+ (100 average) and a fWAR on the negative side of zero. It might seem like he's starting to turn it around. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case.

In his last 28 days he's hit for a .562 OPS. It only gets worse from there with a .495 and .464 OPS in the last 14 and seven days respectively. He's posted a .625 OPS in 117 games for the Astros the last two years. What's concerning for Gomez is that his .297 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is only a little below his .314 career average. Gomez should see that regress towards his career average, but it won't help make him league average offensively. The projection systems (ZiPS and Steamer) have him providing the Astros with 88-91 wRC+ the rest of the way.

Gomez seems to be struggling with the strikeout this year more than any other. He has a 30.9% strikeout percentage (K%). That is a career high for him and well above his 23.1% career average. It would seem that Gomez may not be fully healthy. The Mets were the first team to acquire Gomez last year before the trade deadline. Except that they backed out after getting a look at his medicals.

Whatever the reason, Gomez is not producing this season. Which opens the door to him potentially being released by the Astros before the season is out. Again, I like Gomez but he's not helping this team. His offense is down and his defense isn't exactly making up for that lost value. That's not someone I see the Astros adding to the playoff roster.  Not with Yulieski Gurriel on the way.

I don't think a decision on Gomez is imminent. If he continues to play the way he is I can see the Astros releasing Gomez when Gurriel is ready. His contract is up at the end of the year and I don't see the Astros trying to resign him this offseason. Roster wise the Astros need a spot for Gurriel and either he or Bregman will be playing in left field with the other manning the hot corner. If Gomez were to be released, Colby Rasmus can start in center field.

I hope Gomez gets hot and makes the decision a tough one on the Astros. Right now he's just not and the clock is ticking on the Carlos Gomez era in Houston.



11 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Colby isn't batting much better
2. I wonder if this would have been written if Gomez didn't ground into the game ending DP last night

Not saying it isn't warranted, but it's a touch reactionary

Anonymous said...

Increasingly his defensive abilities appear to be overrated, I'm not sure what the decision is? I guess you're talking about next season. Carlos Gomez shouldn't be on the Astros next season we're stuck with him this season. He is eerily reminiscent Carlos Lee except he runs faster.

Jason Thibodeaux said...

I think he is trying too hard... He wants to be liked... I went to a game in KC with my kids and in BP he was by far the most impressive. He was launching balls further than anyone else. Just my observation/opnion.

John Martin said...

Unless he turns it around, I think we have to let Go Go walk. I don't have confidence that he's going to bounce back to a level that will meet what his contract demands are likely to be. Same with Rasmus unless he's willing to sign a very team friendly deal.

I'd be fine with next year's OF being some combination of Springer/Marisnick/Tucker/Bregman/Gurriel where Bregman and Gurriel have some kind of rotation between 3B and LF. (Assuming Bregman didn't lock himself into 3B full time with that nice defensive performance last night.)

If Jake can just hit .250 he's our best option at CF but we're never going to find out if he can do that when he never gets to play more than 2 or 3 games in a row.

Chas R said...

Sadly, I would say the right move is to DFA Gomez. The season is more than 2/3 over with, what we see with him is what he is likely going to be for the rest of the season. He is just not helping the team. There is not much money left owed to him to eat.

Anonymous said...

This experiment is over. He has degressed in center field. He had a chance to get to 2 balls last night. Imho..jack would of got to them and dived if necessary. His situational batting is horrible. Don't need him down the stretch. Goodbye!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Gomez tries to treat each at-bat as a BP swing. If he would just concentrate on making solid contact instead of trying to rip his damn arms out of their sockets each time, perhaps things would fall into place. Granted, the fans don't know what happens behind closed doors, but as a fan it's very frustrating to see the exact same type of swing and exact same outcome each plate appearance. Was hoping he had turned things around after changing over to the glasses, but apparently he didn't like or need them. Maybe he should go back to them.

Anonymous said...

He's still more valuable than Jason Castro...

Can we ship them both out together? I'll chip in for a bus ticket.

Anonymous said...

DFA/Release when Gurriel comes up. Platoon Jake and Colby in CF.

At worst it's a zero sum move for CF.

Anonymous said...

The Jason Castro sucks schtick is played out. You can stop now.

Michael Carder said...

Jason Castro's value is behind the plate. End of that conversation. As for Gomez, I'm a huge fan. But, how much longer can we continue this? He's been well below replacement level. I'm not cold hearted; he's a man with a family and baseball is his life. We can discuss this and say let him. It's easy for us. Hinch is very loyal to his players. He's giving Gomez every chance to get it together. He just hasn't..