Carlos Gomez was at home in Santiago, Dominican Republic, when he first heard the news the Milwaukee Brewers had traded for right-hander Zack Greinke. "I was happy to hear Greinke was coming here," the 25-year-old centerfielder recalled. "I knew it gave us more chance to be a winner." It wasn't until later, however, that Gomez discovered the impact that trade would have on his life as a Brewer. One of the four players sent to the Royals in that deal was Lorenzo Cain, who claimed Gomez's job as the regular centerfielder over the final six weeks of the 2010 season. Just like that, Gomez was back in the driver's seat, getting another chance to prove he can get on base enough to fully utilize his blazing speed and warrant regular playing time. "I knew now I have a chance to be an everyday player again," said Gomez, acquired by the Brewers after the 2009 season from Minnesota for shortstop J.J. Hardy. "Lorenzo did a great job last year. He's a great athlete and person, too. That's good for him to get traded there. He is going to be good. But this is good for me, good for everybody." Now, it's up to Gomez to seize the day and put behind him the underachieving offensive ways that prompted the Twins to move him and the Brewers to turn to Cain late last season. A .298 on-base percentage just doesn't cut it, and that's what Gomez produced in 97 games in 2010 along with a .247 batting average, five home runs and 24 runs batted in. Manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday the job was Gomez's to lose but added that it was up to the player to make necessary adjustments in his game. "When you're in his spot, you always have to win your job," said Roenicke. "He's what we're planning on right now. He's going to be our centerfielder. "But I want him working on things that will get him better. I don't want him just to say, 'I've got this team made and I'm (going) to be the starting centerfielder, so I'm not going to work on anything. I don't want that to happen." Gomez has frustrated a few hitting coaches, including the Brewers' Dale Sveum, with his undisciplined approach at the plate. Last season, in 319 plate appearances, he walked only 17 times while striking out 72 times. Roenicke said it's up to Gomez to work with Sveum to come up with a better plan at the plate and do things such as bunting more often to utilize his major asset. But Roenicke cautioned against expecting a colossal improvement in OBP from a year ago.
Gomez has fresh chance to prove himself at plate
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 20