Jeanmar Gomez likely went undrafted in most leagues last season as the veteran had typically worked as a middle reliever with solid ratios and a mediocre strikeout rate. He was thrust into the closing role in Philadelphia after the team traded Ken Giles in the offseason and none of the team's other relievers stepped up to seize the job. Gomez excelled for most of the year, racking up 37 saves before faltering in September and losing his job. He was never well-suited for the closing role because he couldn't strike batters out when he needed to and it is unlikely he will get a chance to assume that role again. The Phillies will reportedly let him compete for the job this spring, but Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos have profiles that indicate they are better suited for ninth inning work.
Gomez said he won't join Team Venezuela for the World Baseball Classic, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. This is a reversal from a report Zolecki delivered last week, but Gomez apparently has changed his mind. The right-hander saved 37 games for Philadelphia last year but collapsed down the stretch. Despite that drop-off, Gomez enters camp as the favorite for closing chances, though talented arms like Hector Neris, Joaquin Benoit and Edubray Ramos will keep his leash short should be falter again.
Gomez was deemed "our closer at this point" by manager Pete Mackanin, Matt Gelb of Philly.com reports. This is subject to change throughout the course of spring training, however, Mackanin said after the first workout that he believes "Gomez deserves to be called our closer at this point." He converted 37 of his 46 save opportunities with the Phillies in 2016, although he struggled toward the end of the year.
Gomez will pitch for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next month, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. Manager Pete Mackanin said last month that Gomez will get the opportunity to earn his closing gig back this spring. He collected 37 saves last season before struggling in September and losing his job. He will likely pitch in a setup role for Venezuela in the WBC.
Manager Pete Mackanin said Gomez will get a chance to earn his closing job back this spring, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports. "I'm going to give Gomez every opportunity to show that he's the guy that pitched the first five months and not the guy that pitched in September," Mackanin said. Gomez racked up 37 saves last season before faltering in September and losing his job. Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos will also be in the mix for closing duties this spring, but it sounds like Gomez will get the nod for the job if he pitches well in camp.
Gomez and the Phillies avoided arbitration on Friday with a $4.2 million deal, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Gomez had an excellent season as the Phillies' closer derailed by an awful September, a month in which he allowed 17 of his 37 earned runs on the season, adding up to a 4.85 ERA. Still, the arbitration system loves saves, of which Gomez had 37, so he'll nab nearly a $3 million raise in his third year of arbitration eligibility.