- May 17, 2019: The Mets selected the contract of veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez from Triple-A Syracuse. Gomez, who signed a Minor League deal with the Mets on March 7, started in right field and hit sixth against the Marlins.
In 35 games with Syracuse, Gomez slashed .270/.329/.500 with six home runs, nine doubles, one triple and five stolen bases. As the 33-year-old put it, he used his time in the Minors to get into playing shape much like he would have during Spring Training.
"Very good reports," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He has been swinging the bat really well. The defense has been outstanding, the leadership, the baserunning. Just from top to bottom, the reports have been excellent. That's why he's up here getting a chance to help us win some games."
The 12-year veteran understands his role with the Mets will likely be different from what he is used to. The two-time All-Star has appeared in at least 105 games over the past seven seasons.
"That's why I was getting ready," Gomez said. "I knew from Day 1 that I signed, this is going to be my role. I prepared mentally and physically for that type of role. I'm here to do everything. If this is going to be my role every other day or come off the bench, I'm ready. Whatever way my manager wants to use me, I'm in."
Originally signed by the Mets in 2002, Gomez played his rookie season in Queens five years later before being dealt to the Twins as part of the Johan Santana trade in '08.
Gomez nearly came back to the Mets in 2015 as part of a famous near-trade involving Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler, but New York backed out of the deal with Milwaukee over health concerns regarding Gomez.
"I don't remember any of that," Gomez said. "I only remember that I'm here and that I'm excited and happy. That's all that matters. ... I'm a new guy now."
|Birth City:||Santiago, D.R.|
|Draft:||2002 - Mets - Free agent|
Gomez grew up in a family of five in the Dominican Republic city of Santiago, where material possessions were frequently lacking. His father, Carlos Sr., worked as a delivery driver for a bank, and there were days when a plate of rice and eggs had to suffice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Young Carlos aspired to a better life through sports. He played basketball, ran track and dabbled in judo and kick-boxing as a youth, but baseball was the obvious route to success. After eliciting interest from the Tigers, Braves, Cubs and Yankees, he signed with the Mets out of a tryout camp for a $60,000 bonus.
If Carlos wanted to play football, he could be one of the best receivers in the NFL.
At the start of 2007 spring training, Gomez awed onlookers with a 37-inch vertical leap. It was during the Mets' NFL combine-style tests. "That's good for an NBA prospect," said Philip Humber, Carlos's teammate in 2006 at Binghamton.
Gomez's father played professional softball in the Dominican Republic.
Gomez is smiling all the time. You can tell he has fun playing baseball. Carlos is a bit of a throwback player, giving everything he's got on every play. His all-out hustle and obvious passion for the game endears him to fans, coaches, and his teammates. He is high energy and enthusiastic.
His excitable nature and youthful enthusiasm endear him to teammates and coaches, but those traits also make him one of the most unpredictable players in the clubhouse.
On several occasions in 2009, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has spoken candidly about not knowing what is going to happen when Gomez goes to the plate, or where the ball is going to end up when his powerful arm lets one fly from center field.
Gomez doesn't speak much English.
In 2005, Baseball America had Carlos at 16th-best prospect in the Mets' organization.
Before 2006 spring training, Baseball America rated Carlos as 6th-best prospect in the Mets' organization.
In the winter before 2007 spring training began, the magazine had Gomez up to #3 in the Mets' farm system.
His position hadn't changed by 2008 spring training—he was still third-best in the Mets' organization.
In 2006, Gomez had an Eastern League high 18-game hitting streak that snapped on July 26. Gomez hit .441 during the streak.
Carlos's flashy style has made some opponents mad, but it really is not a problem. He works hard at the game and gets the job done.
Gomez plays with such unbridled enthusiasm, former Mets general manager Omar Minaya feared he might range over from right field and crash into center fielder Carlos Beltran. But Minaya never worried that the Mets might be rushing Gomez.
“I don’t think you push the good ones too fast,” says Minaya, now a Padres senior vice president (in 2014). “With the good ones, it helps their development. I think that made him better.”
In December 2007, Carlos was married to his wife, Gerandy, in the Dominican. He and his wife went on a one-week honeymoon. Then, Gomez returned to Escogido where he continued playing in the Dominican Winter League.
One Minnesota sportswriter/columnist, Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune, said that Gomez's Dominican accent somehow makes him sound like a Mafia witness in a Godfather movie.
Carlos kisses his bat. Asked when he started doing that, he said, "Like 10 years ago. Kiss it, talk to it, smell, whatever. My first at-bat. I talk to it and say, 'Come on, give me something now.' If I get a base hit, the next time I talk to it and I kiss it. I look at the spot where I hit the ball and it smells like fire," Gomez said.
- On May 7, 2008, Carlos hit for the cycle against the White Sox. He was the third-youngest player in major league history to hit for the cycle behind Cesar Cedeno and Alex Rodriguez, who were both 21.
Gomez and Luke Scottare the only players since 1969 to complete the cycle in reverse order: home run, triple, double, single.
During 2008 spring training with the Twins, Gomez proclaimed himself the Twins' future No. 3 hitter. Any other player of Gomez's youth and cockiness would have inspired hazing from veterans, but Gomez is so guileless and enthusiastic that he quickly became the team's best source of light comedy.
Carlos wears very colorful clothes, like pink sweaters, lime green shirts, etc. "My wife [Gerandy] likes it. I got a lot of colors, and they look good on me. I feel sexy [laughs]. I use a lot of different colors, the same way with my shoes," Gomez said. And he has a lot of shoes—over a hundred pairs.
Gomez is much more emotional than most players. Early in the 2009 season, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire talked with Carlos about trying to stay on an even keel, so that his big league experience would be more mellow.
"No one wants to win more, and no one cares more than him," Gardenhire said. "He's just a little more emotional than some of the other guys in the way he goes about it."
April 2009: Carlos' wife, Gerandy, delivered their first child.
Gomez never comes to the ballpark without a smile on his face. And he never hangs his head. He knows he has tried his best, so a slump doesn't really affect him like it does most players.
Major League Baseball and Rawlings jointly announced for the 2013 season that players will be required to wear the new S100 Pro Comp batting helmet, which is made of aerospace-grade carbon fiber composite designed to withstand ball strikes up to 100 mph. Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez happily reported that it stands up equally well against a baseball bat.
"I tell you what, man, this helmet is tough," said Gomez, who voluntarily wore the Rawlings S100 last season. "One time I got ticked off and I threw this like seven, eight times against a wall, and then I swung with my bat, and that thing won't break. I guarantee you this. I've tested it myself."
That helmet now sits, autographed, in equipment manager Tony Migliaccio's office at Miller Park. Gomez beat it so badly that the paint chipped, but the helmet remained otherwise intact. Compare that to traditional batting helmets, which Gomez says he could break apart with his bare hands.
In April 2013, Carlos called home and was scolded by his young son. Yandel, who would turn 4 in May, had been watching the Brewers-Cubs game on television and was not happy when Dad snapped his bat in half over his knee after a seventh-inning strikeout.
"¡Feo!," Yandel said. (Ugly!)
"He said, 'Why are you mad?' It's so ugly. It's not good,' " Gomez said the next day, after his emotions had cooled. "I felt bad, because a lot of kids follow me, a lot of kids look at me like a role model and I should not have done this. ... I don't want kids to go and do the same stuff."
So Gomez took to Twitter and issued an apology.
"I want to apologize to everyone for my actions today, sometimes you get caught in the heat of the moment," he tweeted. "I always try to be a good example and carry myself and uniform in a professional way, again I am truly sorry for my actions today."
José Reyes, who led the National League in stolen bases and triples for multiple seasons, said that Gómez is faster than he is. In fact, while he and Gómez were teammates with the Mets, Gómez routinely beat him in foot races during spring training in 2007.
September 25, 2013: Gomezdrew a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in inciting a benches-clearing incident in Atlanta.
"I expected that with what happened last night," Gomez said. "It's not good for baseball, all that's going on. You have to take it like a man and be responsible for the stuff that I did. Just take the game today and come back tomorrow and continue to finish hard and strong."
Atlanta'sReed Johnson, who ran onto the field and landed a punch against Gomez, also was suspended one game.
Tempers flared after Gomez stood to admire his first-inning home run against Braves starterPaul Maholm, a lefthander who had struck Gomez on the knee with a pitch back on June 23 at Miller Park—a plunking that Gomez deemed intentional. Braves catcherBrian McCannand Freeman had harsh words for Gomez when he finally began his trot, and Gomez yelled back all the way around the bases.
Before Gomez reached home plate, he was confronted by McCann along the third-base line, and both benches emptied for a fracas that led to ejections for Gomez, Freeman, and Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird. McCann was not ejected, but he and Freeman were fined by MLB.
Gomez believes the roots of his athleticism, his Gold Glove skill, were planted in playing several different sports as a youth in the Dominican Republic. In addition to baseball, he played basketball, boxed and loved judo. From age 12 to 15, Gomez was all about this martial art.
In judo, the goal is to pin, throw down or immobilize an opponent with a lock hold. While this does demand a certain level of physicality, judo is driven by intelligence above all.
Gomez sees that experience helping him today. He analyzes each at-bat.
March 2014: Carlos and his wife welcomed their second child.
April 20, 2014: Gomez and teammate/catcher Martin Maldonado were among four players suspended by Major League Baseball for their roles in Sunday's bench-clearing altercation with the Pirates.Carlos, who helped start the incident by exchanging heated words with Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole, was suspended three games. Maldonado, who punched Pittsburgh's Travis Snider, received a five-game suspension.
Snider was suspended two games, and Pirates catcher Russell Martin was suspended one game. All four players were fined undisclosed amounts; a source told ESPN's Buster Olney that Maldonado's fine was $2,500.
MLB announced the penalties Tuesday, saying in a release that the players were "suspended for their aggressive actions." Cole wasn't punished.
The scuffle began when Gomez and Cole yelled at each other following the Milwaukee star's triple in the third inning. Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez, and they exchanged words.
The benches then emptied, and as the teams converged, Snider came onto the field and tackled Gomez, getting a minor assist from Martin in the process. Maldonado then threw a punch that left a cut and bruises around Snider's eye.
Father's Day will always conjure a particularly special memory for Carlos, and the dad who bears the same name. The holiday is celebrated in July in the Dominican Republic, and it marks an anniversary of sorts.
"It makes me feel emotional," Gomez said. "When I signed [with the Mets], I signed on Father's Day, and when I got the opportunity to come here to the States, he held my shoulder and told me, 'This is the opportunity I never had. Don't worry about us. Work, learn, have a good attitude every day you go to the job, no matter what you do. Have a smile on your face, and the day is going to start good.'
"That's what I do. As soon as that plane took off from the Dominican, I started crying. I was 16 years old, I'm going to miss my family. As soon as I got to the States, every time I looked in the mirror, I looked at myself and thought, 'Wow, I'm by myself now.' Every day, I work like my dad told me. That made me feel motivated to never give up."
Carlos Sr. was a fine player in the Dominican Republic, first as a second baseman and then -- "When he got old," his son says with a sliver of a smile -- a center fielder. Briefly, at the very end of his career in the Dominican Republic's top league, Carlos Jr. served as his father's backup. Dad ultimately moved to right field so his son could take over center.
"That's how everything started," Carlos Jr. said.
Said Carlos Sr. with pride, "I played the game the right way."
What Carlos Sr. lacked was size, a feature evident when he stands beside his son today. The younger Gomez, who is in his second season as a bona fide big league star -- is listed as 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds in the Brewers' media guide, yet runs so swiftly that he was long ago saddled with the nickname, El Potro -- The Colt.
This is no accident. Gomez told a great story during Spring Training about how his father, intent on producing a son who would grow big enough and strong enough to play in the Major Leagues, set out to "marry a big woman to have a big kid."
He wed Belgika, who gave him three children. Carlos Jr. is by far the biggest.
"When he was 8 years old, I told my friend, 'He's going to be a baseball player. A real baseball player,'" Carlos Sr. said during an interview with MLB.com, his son serving as translator. "I took him everywhere to see how to play baseball and learn and pick something [up] from everybody else … 'Every day, learn something new from me and from my friends.'"
Today, the younger Gomez looks back and realizes, "He's the guy I owe everything. He's an example to [get an] education, be a good father, respect -- and give everything I have right now. I remember the words they told me. 'If you're going to play ball, you're going to play right, or not play.'
"When I was 12, 14 years old, I was just playing around, not taking it seriously. When he told me those words, I took it seriously. [My father said,] 'You have special talent. You can be a superstar, so work hard and you'll see everything is going to come one day.' That's what I did, and now I see the result."
"He reminds me of myself," Carlos Sr. said. "Every move he makes, I enjoy it because it's a dream. I used to be a baseball player, but I didn't have the opportunity [to play in the Majors]. Every time [his son] steps on the field, I feel like I do it. It's not one special moment. Every day I watch him play is special."
So, once and for all, who is the better ballplayer? The son translates. The Dad smiles.
"When we were the same age, 16-21, I used to be better," Carlos Sr. said. "I used to be faster. I knew the game more than him. But I didn't have the same luck that [his son] had."
Carlos Jr. broke out of his role as translator and fired a comeback.
"It's not lucky," he said with a wide smile. "I have more tools, more ability to play. Every time we joke around, play around like that, 'Who's better? Who's better?' I say, 'I'm the one who has almost eight years in the big leagues!'"
They'll never settle it.
Maybe they don't want to.
"Every time I see my dad, it motivates me," Carlos Jr. said. "He's my best friend … I have my own family now, and I want to teach my son the right way like my dad did for me." (Adam McCalvy MLB.com - 6/13/14)
Gomez was named to start in the outfield for the NL in the 2014 All-Star Game.
"Carlos doesn't have an off button," Hinch said of Gomez in July, 2016.
Newly signed, Carlos had hit 108 home runs entering his Rangers debut against the Indians in August, 2016. But for the first time in his 10-year career, he was nearly brought to tears after he sent a three-run shot into the left-field seats in his first at-bat with his new team.
"It was so emotional that [crying] is what I felt like," said Gomez, whose homer helped lead the Rangers to a 9-0 victory. "I feel so blessed, to come from having no job to coming here. To be in first place and to start like this right away is a gift from God."
"I enjoyed it, to see all the guys get up on the top [step] and go to the dugout and give high fives to each one is really fun," said Gomez. "That's what makes this team special. Having the opportunity to come to a team that can be in the playoffs is a [blessing]. I feel like my season will start today. You have to put some work in, too, to make the best of it. I'm happy to be in this clubhouse." (Posner - MLB.com - 8/26/16)
Gomez, who loves to post long videos to his Instagram chronicling his life, posted one of his collection of baseball memorabilia and awards from his own career.
And the man has an insane collection of autographed baseball bats from many former teammates and opponents, ranging from Gary Sheffield to Mike Trout to Vladimir Guerrero. The collection also includes a bat from teammate Adrian Beltre and some special bats he received to commemorate an All-Star appearance and hitting for the cycle. (Adam Grosbard - SportsDay - 2016)
Carlos wore his jersey with "El Titere" on the back during the Players Weekend. That is Spanish for "The Puppet," a nickname Gomez earned when he was 16 years old and playing in the Dominican Summer League after first signing with the Mets.
"We were in the Dominican and there was this lady from Puerto Rico," Gomez said. "She was about 50 years old. She asked me for some directions, but I didn't know where it was. We were in Santo Domingo and I was from Santiago. I didn't know where anything was. I asked my teammates and they told her.
"So, she said she wished she could have a puppet just like me so she could pull the strings and [have it] do something for her. So, all my teammates started calling me 'El Titere.' The Puppet." (Beats "Go-go," which is what he has been called by American teammates.)
"I have had a lot of nicknames," Gomez said. He will also wear "Carlos Gomez" on his patch. That is a tribute to his father, Carlos Gomez Sr.
"He is the guy I owe everything for being who I am," Gomez said. "He wanted to be a baseball player, but he didn't have the body or the physical ability to play, so God blessed him with a big strong son and everything I do on the field is because of him." (Sullivan - mlb.com - 8/25/17)
Rays manager Kevin Cash said during Spring Training 2018, "Carlos's signing came late. But he might be the perfect mix for this club. Super high energy. A lot of positivity. I think he's going to keep some guys in check, just the way he goes out and plays hard every day. And he's a really good player. This is a guy who has a track record of having success at the big league level."
Cash allowed that Gomez has been "outstanding" in the clubhouse.
"[Kevin Kiermaier] said the other day how awesome he's been," Cash said. "I mean, you see him, you can't knock the smile off his face. He's always in a good mood. I walked in this morning with him from the parking lot, and he's ready to go.
"I talked to him about his comfort. Where he hits in the lineup. Where he's hit in the past ... back and forth, and he's basically said put me wherever, I'm good. ... Once we get the 2018 season underway he's going to help us in many ways." (Chastain - mlb.com - 3/14/18)
July 27, 2018 : Gomez made his Major League pitching debut in the Rays' 15-5 loss to the Orioles. And the veteran outfielder's outing wasn't exactly flawless.Gomez threw 21 pitches, of which just four were strikes, and he had two balks. He walked four batters and allowed three runs. Gomez's ERA after finishing his one-third of an inning: 81.00.
Carlos is the most positive guy in MLB. There's always been something different about Carlos Gomez.
Ever since the boisterous outfielder made his big league debut back in 2007, he's been a captivating force of passionate, joyous, and bat-flip-centric baseballing energy. A half-decade ago, before bat flips were an accepted and celebrated part of the baseball landscape, Gomez was on the front lines of fun, regularly chucking his lumber into the air with applaudable aplomb, rubbing some players wrong in the process.
Gomez's commitment to exhibiting and spreading joy at every potential moment makes him one of the game's most infectious and delightful personalities. Consider earlier this season after Gomez had a contentious run-in with a Gatorade cooler, he made sure to make amends with the inanimate object by apologizing to it.
We were lucky enough to speak to Gomez about why he carries such a positive outlook with him all the time. He also chatted with us about his favorite player in MLB (Francisco Lindor), his run-in with the cooler, and how he's at his happiest when he's hosting and cooking for friends and family at his home. (Mintz & Shusterman - mlb.com - 8/27/18)
2002: Gomez signed with the Mets out of the Dominican Republic when he was only 16 years old. Eddy Toledo was the scout who signed him.
February 1, 2008: The Twins sent P Johan Santana to the Mets, acquiring Gomez and righthanded pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.
November 6, 2009: The Brewers sent INF J.J. Hardy to the Twins, acquiring Carlos.
December 19, 2010: Gomez and the Brewers avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a $1.5 million contract for 2010.
January 12, 2012: Carlos and the Brewers agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,962,500, avoiding salary arbitration. In addition to Gomez's base salary, he can earn $25,000 each for 450, 475, 500, and 525 plate appearances. (His performance bonuses are the same as they were in 2011. But neither year did he make it to 450 plate appearances.)
March 13, 2013: Gomez and the Brewers agreed on a four-year, $28.3 million contract. Carlos would have been eligible for free agency after this season. He agreed to a one-year, $4.3 million deal in January, and the new contract includes salaries of $7 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015, and $9 million in 2016.
July 30, 2015: The Brewers sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston in exchange for four prospects and international signing slot No. 76. The Astros sent the Brewers: RHP Adrian Houser, OF Brett Phillips, RF Domingo Santana and LHP Josh Hader.
Aug 20, 2016: The Rangers signed free agent Gomez.
Nov 3, 2016: Gomez chose free agency.
Dec 13, 2016: The Rangers signed free agent Gomez.
Nov 2, 2017: Carlos elected free agency.
Feb. 22, 2018: The Rays signed Gomez on an incentive-laden one-year, $4 million deal.
Oct 29, 2018: Carlos chose free agency.
- Mar 2, 2019: The Mets organization signed free agent Gomez.
Gomez is a five-tool player. Some baseball people mention Raul Mondesi when they see him. Others compare Carlos to Vladimir Guerrero because he is such a good "bad ball hitter." He will swing at everything and hits everything with authority, showing that unusual, uncanny knack for making hard contact.
In 2009, he was trying to be more selective and use the whole field. Known last year for taking vicious cuts during batting practice, Gomez still lets it loose occasionally but sprays more line drives around the field.
"He has to discipline himself with his strike zone, and it's way better,'' Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra said. "It's noticeably better. He's not chasing pitches out of the strike zone. He's still likes to try to amp up and kind of comes off balance from time to time, but it's not like it used to be.''
Carlos Gomez has been called a loose cannon. That is because you never know what he is going to do next—good or bad. He is a tremendous baseball player. But, will he turn the opposing infield into chaos with a perfectly placed bunt . . . or try to bunt with two strikes and push it foul for a strikeout?
Will he swing madly at a breaking ball in the dirt . . . or pound a pitch into the outfield seats? Will he throw out someone on the basepaths with his tremendous arm . . . or will he air-mail a relay into the Twins dugout?Carlos has incredible superstar ability. But getting him to realize that potential figures to be an entertaining process. No one knows that better than Twins coach Jerry White, who often has to wave a towel to get Gomez's attention while the young outfielder is chewing away on his fingernails, seemingly oblivious to everything else. "It's the first time in my career I've had to do that,'' White said.
At times, Carlos has natural loft in his swing and hits for power to all fields and a good batting average. Gomez should put up better power numbers every year. His short, powerful strike enables him to hit the ball out from foul pole to foul pole.
Carlos is learning to be more patient and selective at the plate. It is nearly impossible to walk him. He normally swings at the first pitch, but he still has no trouble consistently making contact. He has trouble with pitchers who do a good job of changing speeds.
Gomez's power numbers could increase when he learns to control the strike zone and not let his hands drift to the ball, causing him to over-stride. He needs to improve in situational hitting and his patience at the plate. But he has that excellent bat speed to project above-average power.
"Sometimes I'm just over-aggressive at the plate, and I need to learn to take more pitches," Carlos admitted before 2006 spring training.
As of 2008 spring training, Gomez was still searching for the balance between aggressiveness and plate discipline.
"He swings out of his ass. He really takes a hellacious cut," one scout said. "But he has a natural swing path and maybe the best bat speed in the league, well above and beyond Lind and Casto. This guy excites me."
In 2008, Gomez, who is known for swinging at the first pitch thrown by the pitcher, hacked at the first offering 48.3% of the time—the second highest percentage in all of MLB, behind only Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox (48.9%)
For years, Gomez encountered coaches who told him he needed to shorten up on his swing and slap the ball on the ground to take advantage of his speed. Finally, in 2012, he told Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke that he was ready to start taking a big-boy hack and show the same power in games that mesmerized his fellow Brewers in batting practice.
Gomez hit for a reverse natural cycle (home run, then triple, then double, then single) on May 7, 2008, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago while with the Twins.
On July 25, 2012 after hitting a deep drive down the line off of the Phillies Vance Worley in the top of the first inning, Gomez went for a quick jog around the bases, either assuming the ball was gone or hoping that his reaction to it might make the umpire throw up his hands and say, "Well, it's too awkward to call it foul now."
Instead, the ball had hooked foul and the umpiring crew called it as such. And Gomez had no choice but to return to home and pick up his bat again.
April 29, 2017: Carlos Gomez hit for the cycle for the second time. His first came in May of 2008.
- 2017 : Gomez actually led the American League in hit-by-pitches with 19.
As of the start of the 2019 season, Gomez had a career batting average of .253 with 142 home runs and 536 RBI in 4,638 at-bats in his big league career.
- Carlos is very special with the glove, changing games with his superb outfield play. He displays excellent arm and range in the outfield. He uses his aggressiveness, tremendous speed, and ability to take great angles to track down just about any ball hit near his area.
- He has a real cannon for an arm. Carlos has a strong, accurate arm.
- Carlos can play center or right field real well, but he likes center field the best. And he plays it better than most anyone in the game.
- Gomez goes all-out on every play, every game. Diving for a ball is routine for Carlos. And he makes more than his share of highlight plays.
In 2008, Gomez saved 16 runs—the highest total of any Major League center fielder, and 20 more than Torii Hunter, the man Carlos replaced in center field for the Twins.
- Gomez considers himself the best defensive outfielder in the National League, and was not shy about saying so. Asked who else he admires, he cited the D-backs Gerardo Parra and the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen.
No team had waited longer to celebrate a Rawlings Gold Glove than the Brewers, who have not seen a player honored since Robin Yount won at shortstop in 1982. Only four different Brewers have won the award in the Brewers' 44 seasons as a franchise: first baseman George Scott five times, first baseman Cecil Cooper twice, and outfielder Sixto Lezcano and shortstop Yount once apiece.
In 2013, Gomez won the Gold Glove for center field in the National League. Carlos excelled in both the old school and new school. For the eye test, he made at least four and perhaps five home run-robbing catches, including two that ended Brewers victories over the Reds at Miller Park.
And for the numbers folks, Gomez was also a worthy pick. According to FanGraphs.com, he led all outfielders with 38 defensive runs saved in 2013, trailing only Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (42) among Major League players. The next highest center fielder was Arizona's A.J. Pollock with 15 runs saved. McCutchen's DRS was seven, and Span's was three.
Gomez also fared well in ultimate zone rating, which attempts to measure a fielder's success in converting balls in his "zone" into outs. Gomez led the Majors with a 24.4 UZR, with Pollock again second (17.4) and Span (10.2) and McCutchen (6.9) trailing.
- Carlos was honored with his Gold Glove in a pregame ceremony before the Brewers faced the Pirates at Miller Park early in April, 2014. To Gomez, a proud defender, this is a big deal. "I'm trying to continue the good job to get more," he said. "I don't think one is enough. To be one of the best, you have to be consistent about it."
Gomez's is the 10th Gold Glove Award in Brewer franchise history, spread among five different players. George Scott won five in a row at first base from 1972-76, Cecil Cooper won in back-to-back years at first base from 1979-80, Sixto Lezcano won as an outfielder in 1979, and Robin Yount at shortstop in 1982. After Yount, the Brewers had gone 32 seasons without a Gold Glove winner, which was the longest streak in the 57-year history of the award.
Gomez won his award in part by making five home run-saving catches, and he did not commit an error over his last 32 games. He was actually presented the hardware in New York in November -- Gomez posed for a photo with Willie Mays that appears in the Brewers' media guide -- but gave the award back to the folks at Rawlings, who forwarded it to the Brewers so they could host a local ceremony in Milwaukee.
"It makes sense, they give it to you in front of your own fans," Gomez said. (McCalvy - mlb.com - 4/10/14)
- Gomez has game-changing speed and has become a solid base-thief. His speed is rated at 70 on the 20-70 scouting scale.
- In 2005, Gomez stole 64 bases in the South Atlantic League; second most in all of Minor League Baseball. However, he was caught stealing 24 times.
In 2006, he improved, stealing 41 sacks and getting caught only 9 times.
- Since coming to the Brewers, Carlos has an excellent stolen-base success rate.
- Carlos is an aggressive base runner. His ultimate goal is to score every time he is on base. His speed can turn things around for his team.
Carlos plays baseball like a man running from a burning house. The electric center fielder sets the tone and pace for the Brewers, who, at their best, are the Golden State Warriors of Major League Baseball, born to run. When they abandon the fast break for a half-court game, as in the second half of 2014, they lose their edge.
"It's not only me -- we play like that," Gomez said. "We're aggressive on the bases. If two or three times in a season you can force mistakes that win a game for you, at the end of the year it's big. It can be the difference in your season, making the playoffs."
From 2012-2014, Gomez was tied for third in the Majors with Ben Revere in steals (111). Gomez's 81.6 success rate was higher than the two leaders, Rajai Davis and Jose Altuve.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke grew up as a player in a Dodgers organization that practically invented the running game in the modern era with Jackie Robinson, followed by the incomparable Maury Wills.
Before coming to Milwaukee in 2011, Roenicke coached on an Angels staff with Joe Maddon and Bud Black, who also took their beliefs in the running game to managerial roles. Mike Scioscia, who managed those Angels teams, grew up with Roenicke as Dodgers. All four preach going first to third and taking every available base.
"Ron changed my career when he turned me loose," Gomez said. "He likes us to play like that 162 games. These guys run. If you are consistent with it, guys in the field feel the pressure. They'll try to be too quick sometimes and make errors.
"For me, it's the way I do things. I can't slow down. It's me -- in the outfield, on the bases, at the plate. My kid [Yandel] is only 5 years old, and he's already just like me." (Spencer - mlb.com - 3/8/15)
- September 2005: Gomez suffered a groin pull.
- 2006: Carlos missed three weeks with a back injury near the middle of the season.
- July 4-September 7, 2007: Gomez suffered a fracture to a small bone in his left wrist—the hamate bone—and underwent surgery the next day. The injury occurred on a checked swing.
- July 25, 2008: Carlos sustained a lower back injury when he crashed into the padded wall while making a spectacular catch in the first inning of a game vs. the Indians in Cleveland. Gomez slammed into the wall on his right side. He crumpled on the warning track and spent several minutes writhing in pain before he was immobilized on a backboard, loaded on a cart and transported to Lutheran Hospital. An MRI was negative.
- May 25, 2009: Gomez required stitches on his eyebrow after “getting stuck” in a revolving door on his way into the Metrodome, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said between chuckles.
“I guess he was going through the revolving door and somebody tried to jump in behind him and stopped it and he kept walking and cut his eyebrow, and it’s really funny,” Gardenhire said. “It’s not funny, but it’s really funny.”
May 5, 2010: Carlos injured his left shoulder while diving back to second base. An MRI revealed a strained rotator cuff. He was caught in a rundown by the Dodgers. Gomez was able to scamper safely back to an uncovered second base, but he tweaked his right hand and hurt his left shoulder on an awkward dive back to the bag. He went on the D.L.
July 21-September 1, 2011: Gomez fractured his left clavicle making a diving catch to end a perilous fourth inning during Milwaukee's 5-2 win against the D-backs. He went on the D.L.
On July 26, Carlos underwent successful surgery to repair the fractured clavicle.
May 5-20, 2012: Gomez was on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring.
October 2013: Gomez underwent routine surgery on his right elbow after the season. It was a clean-up procedure to remove some loose bodies in there. It was considered minor surgery.
September 3, 2014: Carlos was sidelined with a sprained left wrist. He injured it swinging at a pitch.
April 16-May 2, 2015: The Astros placed center fielder Carlos on the 15-day disabled with a strained right hamstring.
May 16-31, 2016: Carlos went on the DL with a bruised left rib cage.
May 15-June 16, 2017: Carlos was placed on the 10-day DL and was expected to miss four to six weeks with a right hamstring strain.
Aug 16-26, 2017: Carlos was on the DL with excision of cyst behind right shoulder.
- May 16-26, 2018: Carlos was on the DL with strained right groin.