Tag:Carlos Gomez
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:56 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 12:26 am
 

Picking the National League's best defenders



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Gold Gloves are one of baseball's toughest awards to decide -- and sometimes toughest to understand. Unlike many of the game's other awards, the Gold Gloves are voted on by managers and coaches, and every year it seems there's a winner or two that seems to win the award more with their bat than their glove.

Not only do some players seem to win it with something other than their glove, sometimes the award can be a lot like the Supreme Court, once you get elected, you're not going to lose your seat.

That said, it's a difficult award to vote for. There are better fielding statistics coming out every year, yet most are still in their infancy and can tell you only so much. Good defense, sometimes can be a lot like the definition Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart gave for pornograpy in Jacobelis v. Ohio in 1964: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embrued within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it." 

With that in mind, perhaps the voters for the Gold Gloves should be the scouts, but instead I'll try my hand at picking out the best defensive players in the National League.

Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

As tough as it is to use numbers to evaluate fielders, it's even tougher with catchers. At least the numbers with other fielders have some meaning, with catchers there's so much more to what they do defensively that it's hard not to go on reputation -- and nobody has a better reputation than Molina.

Others considered: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies; Brian McCann, Braves.

First base: Joey Votto, Reds

When Votto was coming up, people knew he could hit -- that was hard to ignore -- but his reputation at first base was nowhere near as good. Even as a rookie, he often struggled, especially on throws to a pitcher covering first. Since then, he's improved every year and this year he has proven himself to be the best defensive first baseman in the league. Votto, last year's MVP, covers more ground at first than any other first baseman in the league, which means it can be tough to get a hit if you hit it on the ground to the right side of the Reds infield, beacuse of the next guy on the list.

Others considered: Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Todd Helton, Rockies.

Brandon PhillipsSecond base: Brandon Phillips, Reds

A two-time Gold Glover, Phillips should be in line for his third. There may be no other player in baseball with as long of a highlight-reel as Phillips, who seemingly makes another amazing play every night.

Others considered: Chase Utley, Phillies, Omar Infante, Marlins, Neil Walker, Pirates

Third base: Pablo Sandoval, Giants

There are players with better defensive reputations than the Kung Fu Panda, but nobody's had a better year. The advanced stats don't tell you everything yet, but they're still pretty good. Sandoval leads qualified National League third basemen in UZR (12.3), UZR/150 (21.2) and plus-minus (20). 

Others considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies; Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals.

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

The Rockies may know a little something about drafting defensive shortstops -- they picked two of the best in the league, Tulowitzki and the Astros' Clint Barmes. Finally healthy, Barmes was outstanding defensively for the Astros, while Tulowitzki seems like the second coming of Cal Ripken. 

Others considered: Alex Gonzalez, Braves; Jose Reyes, Mets; Clint Barmes, Astros.

Left field: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies

The voting has changed this year to award Gold Gloves to each of the three outfield positions instead of three generic outfielder awards that usually went to center fielders. Carlos Gonzalez is tough to categorize, but considering he's played more games in left than any other spot, he's the easy choice here. He's started 60 games in left, 34 in right and 28 in center. He's played all three well, which isn't easy at spacious Coors Field, committing only one error on the season.

Others considered: Matt Holliday, Cardinals. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks. Tony Gwynn, Dodgers.

Shane VictorinoCenter field: Shane Victorino, Phillies

This is one stacked category, with several deserving players. Under the old rules it would be easy, you'd have three center fielders and give them the three Gold Gloves. Under the new rules, it's a tougher choice. Victorino has had an MVP-type year, and no small part of that has been patrolling center field for the Phillies. The Flyin' Hawaiian is as good as anyone out there and his error-less season gives him the edge.

Others considered: Chris Young, Diamondbacks; Carlos Gomez, Brewers; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Rick Ankiel, Nationals; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates.

Right field: Mike Stanton, Marlins

He may be known best for the moon shots off his bat, but Stanton is a surprisingly good defensive outfielder. Stanton has the combination of athleticism and arm strength to be the best defensive right fielder in the game.

Others considered: Jay Bruce, Reds; Carlos Beltran, Giants; Jason Heyward, Braves.

Pitcher: R.A. Dickey, Mets

A knuckleball pitcher needs to field his position well -- there are plenty of bad hits coming back to the mound off poor contact. Dickey has been very good fielding his position and helped his team with his glove.

Others considered: Jake Westbrook, Cardinals; Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Derek Lowe, Braves.

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:24 am
 

Drew gruesomely fractures ankle; Gomez hurt

By Evan Brunell

Stephen Drew, the Diamondbacks' shortstop, severely injured his ankle in the bottom of the fourth inning when he was called out at home against the Brewers. Arizona was down 1-0 at the time, and that score has held to the seventh inning. Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez also left the game with his own rough injury: a broken collarbone.

Drew's foot caught under his leg as he slid, twisting entirely in the opposite direction. He immediately grabbed his foot, twisted it back correctly and then collapsed to the ground. The Diamondbacks put out on Twitter that the 28-year-old fractured his ankle, with surgery likely. Manager Kirk Gibson said Drew is done for the season and said he "probably" needs surgery.

Gomez was sharing time in center with Nyjer Morgan this season. Gomez had earned 231 plate appearances to date and hit a putrid .222/.272/.382 line. He's not a major loss, but it still thins out the Brewers, who are now suddenly in need of an outfielder without many internal options.

Warning: The video below depicting Drew's injury is graphic.



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Posted on: June 26, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: June 26, 2011 4:45 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Peavy steps up



By Matt Snyder


Jake Peavy, White Sox. When John Danks left the game in the second inning with an oblique injury, the White Sox appeared to be doomed. After all, the bullpen had worked seven innings the previous night and the opponent -- the Nationals -- entered the game as the hottest team in the majors. Just after Danks walked off the field, however, Peavy went trotting down to the bullpen. He ended up taking the ball to start the fifth inning and straight dealing. He worked four shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven. He picked up the victory in his first career relief appearance. Peavy teamed up with Brian Bruney and Sergio Santos to throw 7-1/3 scoreless innings in relief and the White Sox broke the Nationals' four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win.

Lucas Duda, Mets. Pretty much the entire offense of the Mets could be placed here after the 17-hit, 14-run beating administered to the Rangers in Arlington Saturday afternoon, but Duda deserves special mention. He entered the game hitting just .173 and with only one multi-hit game this entire season -- and it was a two-hit game. Thus, Saturday's effort qualifies as a career day, even if he's only 25. Duda went 4-5 with three doubles, two runs and four RBI. His average rose all the way to .228. So we'll offer apologies to the rest of the team and give the spotlight to Duda.

Carlos Gomez, Brewers. Again, we're singling out one player when the entire team exploded. The Brewers beat the Twins 11-1 on the strength of 14 hits and four home runs -- one was the inside-the-park variety -- but Gomez gets a special mention. It wasn't just that he went 3-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI, bringing his average up to .221. He also flashed his speed by scoring on a sac-fly to the second baseman.




Alexi Ogando, Rangers. Apparently I've fallen into an impromptu theme here, because this is the third straight entry where I'm spotlighting a player for a team effort. The Rangers pitchers were collectively horrible Saturday, taking the aforementioned beating from the Mets (see Duda, Lucas above). We're going to focus on Ogando because he was such an integral part of the Rangers' starting staff early in the season and has recently stumbled. Those who pay close attention to advanced metrics like FIP and BABIP knew Ogando's results were too good to be true, and now we're seeing the regression. After starting 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, Ogando's gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. He's had two bad outings and one decent effort. It could just be him tiring a bit, a few fluky outings or a downward trend. It's certainly enough for the Rangers to be concerned, however.

Tony Sipp/Cord Phelps, Indians. The Tribe took a 1-0 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, and those are always rough. This one has to qualify as especially so, due to the manner in which the Giants scored their lone run. After being given a gift when Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz fell down between second and third and was tagged out in a rundown on a would-be triple, the Indians decided to give several gifts of their own. Indians second baseman Cord Phelps committed errors on two of the next three hitters, at which point starting pitcher Justin Masterson was removed from the game in favor of Tony Sipp. Sipp walked Andres Torres to load the bases and then balked home the eventual game-winning run. Yes, you read that correctly. Sipp balked with the bases loaded, which plated Miguel Tejada -- and that ended up being the only run of the game.

Cardinals defense. It's been a problem for the Redbirds all season and it surfaced again Saturday. This time around, Daniel Descalso's third-inning throwing error with two outs extended the inning and the next Blue Jays' batter -- Juan Rivera -- hit a three-run homer. The Cardinals lost 6-3. They've fallen two games back of the Brewers in the mediocre NL Central and only have a one-game lead on the Reds and Pirates.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 12:11 am
 

Play of the Night: Gomez robs Beltran

By Matt Snyder

Relief pitcher Marco Estrada's night was about to go from bad to worse. The Brewers entered the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead, fresh off a Prince Fielder home run in the bottom of the sixth. Shaun Marcum had just spun six shutout innings. Estrada proceeded to allow two baserunners before Jose Reyes torched a pitch to deep center field for a go-ahead, two-run triple. After a fielder's choice off the bat of Justin Turner erased Reyes, Carlos Beltran stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch that should have made the score 4-1 Mets.

Carlos Gomez had other ideas. Check it out.

WATCH VIDEO ON MLB.COM

While very fun to watch, the effort went for naught, as the Mets held on for the 2-1 victory. It moved the Mets to within two games of .500 and halted the Brewers winning streak at four.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:15 pm
 

Gomez, Morgan to platoon in center for Brewers

Gomez

By Evan Brunell


The Milwaukee Brewers finally welcomed Nyjer Morgan back from the disabled list on Friday, and he delivered by getting two hits and scoring two runs against Tim Lincecum. Morgan then slid over to right Saturday and watched Carlos Gomez (pictured) crank an inside-the-park home run and then punched a single in four at-bats on Sunday.

That's likely how things will continue to go for Morgan, who will be in a platoon with Gomez as the Brewers try to tap into Morgan's offense while keeping Gomez's defense in the lineup. With Morgan's return, manager Ron Roenicke intends to go with the hot hand as Gomez's .223/.280/.343 line in 166 at-bats erased a productive spring. You could forgive Roenicke for giving Gomez the bulk of the playing time in center up until now, even though Morgan being on the DL simplified things. Gomez is just 25 and looked like he could be figuring things out with a .390 batting average in spring training. At this point, Gomez is who he is: a gifted defender with an inability to hit.

"The defense makes it hard to get Gomez out of the lineup," Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He saves us a lot of runs defensively, and that's one of the reasons I keep putting him back out there. What he gives you offensively, we'll pick and choose."

Despite Gomez's awful .280 on-base percentage, he leads the team with 13 stolen bases, so he can impact the team in other ways on offense. But the whole idea at the plate is to get on base, not to steal a base the rare time you get on base. That's where Morgan figures in. He's not as good as Gomez defensively, but his career .346 OBP is 50 points better and he can steal around 40 bases a season if given enough playing time.

The negative when it comes to Morgan's base-stealing is that he gets caught a lot -- to the point where he shouldn't have a green light to steal on his own. His 17 caught-stealing marks in 2009 and 2010 led all of baseball. The other aspect that could figure into playing time is handedness. Gomez is right-handed, while Morgan hits left-handed.

"I don't know if we'll go to a straight platoon with those guys," Roenicke added. "But I think whoever's doing well is certainly going to get most of the playing time."

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Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Nyjer Morgan could return to Brewers on Friday

By Evan Brunell

MorganNyjer Morgan is on the comeback trail from a fractured middle left finger. He will play in his second extended spring training game Wednesday, and should be activated from the disabled list this Friday,  the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Morgan will join a Brewers team on the rise. They've won five in a row and eight of their last 10 to pull into a tie for second place with the Reds, 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis. Morgan's arrival will put the Brewers at full strength for essentially the first time all season.

Morgan won't light the world on fire and is clearly hitting over his head with his current .379/.419/.586 line in 35 plate appearances fitted in-between two separate DL stints. But he's significantly better than incumbent Carlos Gomez, even if Morgan slips to his .285/.346/.365 line, which the Brew Crew would absolutely take.

Gomez is a solid fielder, but his offense is even more putrid than it has ever been during his four years of extensive playing time. He currently has a .222/.281/.327 line. At this point in Gomez's career, he is who he is: a great defender who can't hit a lick. Sure, he's only 25, but he has over 1,600 plate appearances at the major-league level. That's plenty enough to draw conclusions.

While Milwaukee shouldn't give up on Gomez, it does need to slot Morgan into center field to give the team a better offensive boost. Currently, Milwaukee has a Rickie Weeks-Corey Hart tandem at the top of the order, and only recently pushed Gomez out of the two-hole. When Morgan returns, he'll likely do so at the bottom of the order as the Brewers won't want to mess with what is working. But if he can eventually ascend to the leadoff spot, that will push Weeks or Hart into a power-production spot, deepening the lineup that much more instead of being exposed once the No. 6 hitter strides to the plate.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Chapman impresses beyond radar gun readings

Aroldis Chapman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It won't grab any headlines because there was no crazy radar gun readings, but Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman had his best outing yet on Wednesday.

It wasn't just that Chapman got the Reds out of a jam in the eighth inning of the team's eventual 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Brewers, but it was more than that. It was that he pitched for the second day in a row and maintained his velocity. It was recognizing a batter (Carlos Gomez) swinging early to catch up with the fastball and giving him a slider. It was having the bases loaded and getting on of the game's best hitters to ground out weakly. And it was also his pickoff move, which stunned and froze Corey Hart on the basepaths.

It was everything. Reds manager Dusty Baker said it's the best he's seen Chapman since he came up at the end of last season.

Baker brought in the left-hander to face the right-handed Rickie Weeks with one out and two on in the eighth inning. Chapman hit Weeks, but then struck out Gomez and retired Braun to end the inning.

With two outs in the ninth, he gave up a hit to Hart in the north, but it also set up his pickoff move, something not too many have seen so far in his career. 

Up until Wednesday, there had been concern about Chapman's ability to pitch in back-to-back games, but his velocity didn't suffer Wednesday (an average fastball of 99.13 mph and a high of 100.8 mph) even though he pitched on Tuesday. Tuesday, Chapman faced just one batter, striking out Prince Fielder.

Wednesday he needed just 19 pitches to get through 1 2/3 innings, and 17 of those pitchers were strikes. He earned the win and has yet to allow an earned run this season.

"I keep saying it and I'm going to say it again: it's unbelievable," Reds closer Francisco Cordero told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. "I'm real glad I'm here, that I get to see it. It's special. He's a special boy. Nobody else in the history of the big leagues has thrown that hard."

Cordero is still the Reds closer, but ever since Chapman's come up, Baker's been using him in higher-leverage situations that Cordero. While most value in a reliever is assumed to be the closer, Baker is doing a good job of keeping his highest-paid player (Cordero) happy and productive (5-for-5 in save opportunities), while using his best reliever in the situations where he's needed the most.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am
 

Another bad first for Volquez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Edinson Volquez For just the third time in the 130 years of Pittsburgh baseball history, the Pirates (and Alleghenys) led off a game with back-to-back home runs on Sunday. It was the second time this season Edinson Volquez has allowed back-to-back homers to lead off a game.

Sunday it was Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata who went back-to-back. Volquez also gave up back-to-back shots to Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez of the Brewers on opening day.

So far this season Volquez has allowed 13 first-inning runs and the Reds are 3-0 in games he's started. Sunday Volquez not only allowed the two home runs, but also gave up a double and walked three, allowing four runs as the Pirates batted around. Volquez then settled down, holding the PIrates without a run in their next four innings, until exiting following a Garrett Jones homer and a walk to Ronny Cedeno in the fifth. Reliever Jordan Smith allowed a double to pinch hitter John Bowker to score the run and close the book on Volquez. His final line was 5 2/3 innings, five hits, six runs (all earned), six walks and six strikeouts. He earned a no-decision in the Reds' 7-6 loss to the Pirates.

Volquez's first-inning ERA is 29.25 this season, while it's just 1.93 in every other inning.

The Reds' 27-year-old right-hander is 2-0 so far this season, winning his last two outings. Here's what he's done in the first inning of his four starts this season:

• March 31, 7-6 Reds victory over Milwaukee: 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk
• April 6, 12-4 victory over Houston: 4 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks
• April 11, 3-2 victory over San Diego: 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batter
• April 17, 7-6 loss to Pittsburgh: 4 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com