"I’m not taking it like I have a roster spot," Gomes said. "I’m still taking it like I’m earning a spot. I’m still trying to earn the respect of the fans, the media, whatever it is. I’m going to come in the same way I came in last year ... working hard and preparing for the year."
After appearing at 85 games at catcher for Cleveland in 2013, Gomes could see an increase to 120-130 games behind the plate in 2014.
"I’m excited for the challenge," he said. "That’s exactly what you work for and I spent the offseason working my butt off for it. I’m ready to go."
That's basically what they've done in five games since, starting Gomes at catcher in four of them. With Reynolds out of the picture, first base and DH are all the more available for Carlos Santana, their opening day catcher who they've never really treated as a catcher.
Gomes has a .314 batting average and .893 OPS. Granted, those numbers are inflated by recent hot streak that has him hitting .500 (21 for 42) with two homers over his last 13 games, but with more regular playing time, his streaks might not be so exaggerating moving forward.
And with more regular playing time, he's a legitimate Fantasy asset. I've moved him all the way up to 20th at catcher in my rankings, but if you prefer the upside play, you could make a case for him as high as 16th.
"I think he's earned it," manager Terry Francona said, per The Plain Dealer. "Especially with what he's done against left-handers."
Gomes is batting .324 with a .603 slugging percentage and .963 OPS against left-handed pitchers in 2013. Overall, he's batting .310 with a .532 slugging percentage and .885 OPS in 52 games.
"Early in the year, I was trying to protect him because we'd pinch-hit for him early," Francona said. "Now we've gotten to the point where we're not going to do that. He's been swinging the bat really well."
Gomes' main drawback this season has been a a lack of playing time, but Reynolds' departure should open up time at first base, DH, or catcher (with Carlos Santana seeing more time at first/DH) for the 26-year-old Brazilian.
Owned in 14 percent of leagues, Gomes can be added in two-catcher formats just on the hope that he sees the bulk of at-bats. In shallower formats, he's probably going to have Ryan Doumit-ish value -- his offensive upside has to be coupled with the risk of Ryan Raburn or Jason Giambi getting some of those suddenly-available at bats.
Gomes may see his value rise with playing time, but he's definitely worth an add in deeper leagues right now based on the prospect of significant at-bats the rest of the season.
The main problem with Gomes is his playing time -- a .385 average over 12 games is nice, but Gomes hit just one home run in that span, with five runs scored. Still, as a second catcher in a 12-team Roto league, Gomes isn't hurting a team. And with these great numbers in part-time play, Gomes has proven his worth as someone who can handle several positions (first base, catcher, DH, and even left field and third base) in case someone gets injured. The bonus if that happens would be Gomes retianing his catcher eligibility for Fantasy purposes.
Gomes makes for a nice, cheap keeper acquisition in deeper leagues right now (he's already earned catcher eligibility for 2014), and has some value in deeper leagues for the rest of 2013 as a second catcher. With the Indians making a postseason push, we may see Gomes spell Carlos Santana behind the plate as we get deeper into the season.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/2/2013 vs Tampa Bay|
|vs Tampa Bay||6||1||0||.143||.333||.167|
|vs Albers (Career)||3||1||0||.333||.333||.333|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 30 || 31 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
| 3 || 4 |
| 6 |
| 7 |
| 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 11 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2009||R-GCL Blue Jays||4||14||1||5||0||0||0||2||3||2||0||0||.471||.357||.357|
|2010||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||68||233||37||64||21||1||9||40||9||64||0||0||.312||.489||.275|
|2011||AA-New Hampshire Fisher||79||276||34||69||18||1||13||51||25||75||0||0||.317||.464||.250|
|2011||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||4||14||1||3||1||0||0||1||1||4||0||0||.267||.286||.214|
|2012||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||79||305||44||100||29||1||13||59||25||72||4||0||.380||.557||.328|
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