Just as quickly as Carlos Gomez became a potent power/speed threat, he receded to the point of having his worst season since 2011. Gomez simply didn't hit with the same authority and that was even more the case after the Brewers dealt him to the Astros just before the July trade deadline. Injuries plagued Gomez for much of the season, including a sore right hip that led to a trade from the Brewers to the Mets to fall through. If Gomez is fully healthy, he could restore his status as a top-10 outfielder, but given how injury-prone he was last season, that is probably expecting too much. A rebound back into the top 30 is a reasonable expectation.
Gomez is spending most of the offseason conditioning in the Dominican Republic, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports. Gomez is participating in a conditioning plan that is adjusted to consider his left intercostal strain that bothered him at the end of the year. No surgery was necessary following the injury and it appears Gomez is very close to being fully healthy. Barring further injury, Gomez will be the starting center fielder for Houston to begin 2016.
In his return to the starting lineup Sunday, Gomez went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in Houston's Game 3 ALDS win over Kansas City. After being limited as a pinch-runner and defensive substitute in the first two games of the ALDS, the veteran center fielder delivered a clutch RBI single with two outs in the sixth inning to give the Astros a two-run cushion in the game. "It's not about the big hit that I hit," Gomez said after the game. "It's about that win we had today. That's the most important thing. I was trying to keep myself breathing and have a good at-bat and looking for the pitch that he throws me and not miss it because when I miss it you don't want to know how I feel." At less than 100-percent, Gomez's availability for Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday afternoon is unclear.
Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez (oblique) will start Game 3 on Sunday against the Royals, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. While Gomez didn't start either of the first two games, he was available off the bench and did enter late in each game on the base paths. He'll return to center field Sunday, bumping Jake Marisnick out of the lineup.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez (oblique) is not in the lineup Friday for Game 2 of the ALDS, Josh Vernier of 610 Sports Radio reports. After missing Game 1 with an oblique injury, it was assumed by many pundits that Gomez would return to the lineup for Game 2, however that doesn't appear to be the case. Much like Thursday, Gomez will likely be available off the bench to play in a pinch-hit or pinch-run situation, but it's unlikely he will spend any major time in the field Friday. Jake Marisnick will man center field and hit ninth in the batting order in his place.
Gomez continues to deal with his oblique injury, but indicated he's available to pinch run Thursday and hopes to be in the Game 2 lineup Friday, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports. Gomez has been suffering from the issue for an extended period of time, but continues to battle through it to play. Barring a setback of some kind, it seems like he'll be back in the lineup for the second game of the series.