Trying to become a more consistent hitter and shed his tag as a hopeless offensive underachiever, Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez has become hitting coach Dale Sveum's most devoted disciple this spring. Manager Ron Roenicke, for one, has been impressed with what has come out of those daily sessions. "This is the best I've seen him," said Roenicke. "When he was in Minnesota, we saw an inconsistent guy. If you put it in a zone where he liked it, he was going to put a good swing on it. But you knew also if you threw that good slider, down and away, he was going to chase it. "He's going to chase it now, too, but his approach is to the point where he's going to lay off it more often. He's going to be able to pick up the spin and not chase that pitch." Roenicke said Gomez has been able to take what Sveum has stressed during batting practice and apply it in games. "He's really trying to hit line drives up the middle," said Roenicke. "He's staying there all the time. That's what Dale likes. All of his at-bats in a game, that's basically his approach." Gomez had not drawn a walk in his first nine games this spring, so that issue hasn't been resolved. But he was batting .333 with a .600 slugging percentage and only four strikeouts in 30 at-bats. Gomez played his way out of the starting center-field job last season by showing little plate discipline. Lorenzo Cain took over the regular job over the last six weeks but was included in the December trade for right-hander Zack Greinke, giving Gomez another shot. In 97 games last season, Gomez batted .247 with a .298 on-base percentage, with five home runs and 24 runs batted in and 72 strikeouts in 291 at-bats. Roenicke said Gomez realized he needed to make changes if he wanted to be a regular player again. "The conversation that Dale had with me is he got to the point where he said, 'I'm tired of doing this,' " said Roenicke. "He told Dale, 'Whatever I can do to change and start being the hitter I want to be, I'm willing to listen to whatever you have.'
Brewers' Gomez working hard with Sveum
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Mar 13