Gardenhire on Gomez

A few more tidbits about the newest Brewer, 23-year-old speedster Carlos Gomez. The Brewers picked him up today in a trade that sent shortstop J.J. Hardy to the Twins.

This section is from the story I filed about the trade a few minutes ago:

The Twins acquired Gomez as part of the mega-trade that sent pitcher Johan Santana to the Mets in February 2009 and Gomez made 90 starts as Minnesota’s leadoff hitter that year. He hit .258 with 59 RBIs, 79 runs scored and 33 steals, enough to enter 2009 as the Twins’ center field incumbent.

He lost the starting job after hitting .195 through the season’s first month and spent the year in a timeshare agreement with Denard Span. For his career, Gomez has made 101 of his 263 starts in the leadoff spot and is just a .240 hitter with a .279 on-base percentage.

Twins manager Rob Gardenhire loved Gomez’s speed and his range in center field but conceded before Game 2 of this year’s American League Division Series against the Yankees, when Gomez made a start, that his offensive game was a work in progress. 

“He irritates people,” Gardenhire said. “Sometimes me.” 

The skipper was asked to expound. 

“We’ve been trying to get him to calm down and get him to control the situations, and sometimes the situation controls him,” Gardenhire said. “There are times when, yes, you’re like, ‘Go-Go, you have to see what we’re trying to do here.’ We just had a 25-pitch inning from our pitcher, and he goes up and falls down swinging on the first pitch.

“Those things get you irritated as a manager, because we want him to recognize what we’re doing in a game. But he can play, and he’s fun to watch. He’s very, very talented and has a lot to learn, yes, but like I said, when you see him out there in center field covering all that ground and then some of the offensive things that he can do that other people can’t do, that’s why the guy is in the big leagues.”

So it appears that Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum will have some work to do if the Brewers are to reign-in Gomez. He’s an intriguing addition.

Here’s what Brewers GM Doug Melvin had to say about Gomez in the team’s announcement of the deal:

“Carlos brings to our club great speed, athleticism and energy at a position that we needed to fill,” said Melvin.  “His defense will serve as a key component to us improving our pitching.  At only 24 years of age, Carlos can further develop the offensive aspect of his game and give us a different look to our lineup.”


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