Note: This page is for major league outfielder Carlos Gomez; for the minor league pitcher of the same name, click here.
Carlos Argelis Gómez Pena
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4”, Weight 195 lb.
Gómez, only 21 years old at the time of his debut, has played in the minors since age 18. He has hit between .268 and .287 in the minors with moderate power and lots of stolen bases. After the 2007 season, he was sent to the Minnesota Twins as one the key pieces of the trade which brought pitcher Johan Santana to New York.
Gómez hit for the cycle on May 7, 2008, the first member of the Twins to do so since Kirby Puckett in 1986. Gómez has played the 2008 season as the Twins starting centerfielder following the blockbuster trade. He played 153 game for the Twins that year, batting .258, giving hope that he would emerge as an outstanding center fielder. However, he slipped significantly in 2009, to .229 with a .287 OBP in 137 games. After the season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy. He split time in centerfield with veteran Jim Edmonds in 2010, hitting .247 with once again an OBP below .300. With Edmonds gone, Gómez won the starting job outright in spring training of 2011. He was hitting .220/.270/.378 in 81 games when he broke a collarbone diving to catch a fly ball off the bat of Arizona's Ryan Roberts on July 20. Ironically, the injury came one play after Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew broke an ankle sliding at the plate, putting him out for the season. He came back to the playing field in September, ending up with a .225 average in 94 games and a well below-average .276 OBP. However, he made a key contribution to the Brewers' win over the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, going 3 for 4 with a homer and a pair of stolen bases. In the NLCS, however, he was only 2 for 10 as the Brewers were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gómez was off to a better start in 2012, sharing playing time in center field with Nyjer Morgan and after 21 games was hitting .280. The injury bug struck him again however, as he pulled a hamstring muscle running out a routine fly ball on May 4th, putting him on the disabled list again. However, he was back before the end of the month, and had his best season to date, hitting .260/.305/.463 with 19 homers, 72 runs scored and 51 RBI in 137 games to eclipse Morgan. In 2013, he took another step forward, as he hit over .300 while leading the National League in triples over the first half. That performance got him an invitation to play in the All-Star Game for the first time. Two days after his nomination, on July 8th, he made highlight reels around the country by robbing fellow All-Star Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds of a potential two-run homer by grabbing a ball over the center-field fence, recording the last out of a 4-3 win. With the Brewers going nowhere, he grabbed more headlines with some questionable behavior on September 25th, when as the second batter of the game against Paul Maholm of the Atlanta Braves, he hit the ball over the fence for his 23rd homer, then stood to watch the ball's flight, flipped his bat, and began trotting slowly around the bases while shouting at Maholm. He got into a first argument with 1B Freddie Freeman, then a fed-up C Brian McCann blocked his path as he was about to finally make it home. That provoked a bench-clearing brawl, the result of which was his ejection from the game, coupled with that of Freeman and Braves back-up C Gerald Laird. Gómez had never actually touched the plate, but the run was allowed to score as McCann was charged with obstruction for blocking his path. He explained after the game that his actions were payback for Maholm having hit him gratuitously with a pitch back on June 23rd. Gomez was fined and given a one-game suspension by Commissioner Bud Selig. He finished the year at .284/.338/.506, all three figures being personal bests, good for an OPS+ of 126. He hit 27 doubles, 10 triples and 24 homers, to go along with 80 runs and 73 RBI.
Gomez almost exactly matched his 2013 numbers in 2014: he again hit .284, with 23 homers (he had hit 24 the precious year) and 73 RBIs. He scored 95 runs, a career high, and his 34 doubles were a career high as well. He returned to the All-Star Game. However, it was a disappointing season for the team, as the Brewers started very strong and seemed poised to win a division title only to collapse in the second half and finish well back of the division leaders. On April 10, 2015, he was forced to play second base for the first time of his career, after Scooter Gennett was ejected for arguing a strike three call by umpire Mike Estabrook; the Brewers had no infielders left on their bench, so manager Ron Roenicke sent Carlos to play there for the game's final inning. On April 17th, he was placed on the disabled list with a "small defect" in his hamstring after he had heard something pop while running to first base two days earlier. The injury kept him out until the beginning of May, during which time the Brewers struggled badly, leading to Roenicke's firing on May 4th. On May 17th, he was hit in the batting helmet by a 96 mph fastball thrown by rookie Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets and had to leave the game. Fortunately, he did not suffer a concussion and led off the next day's game with a home run against Kyle Lobstein of the Detroit Tigers and drove in another run in the 7th to give the Brewers a 3-2 win. He was hitting .262 with 8 homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games at the end of July when trade rumors began circulating about him, something not surprising given the Brewers were well out of the race and he was one of their most valuable trading chips. He was almost sent to the New York Mets on July 29th in a deal that would have netted the Brewers IF Wilmer Flores and P Zack Wheeler, but the Mets reneged over concerns about the health of his hip. On July 30th, a trade was completed with the [[[Houston Astros]] who picked up Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers in exchange for four prospects: Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, Adrian Houser, and Josh Hader. The Astros also acquired slot No. 76 in the 2015-16 international pool.
With the Astros, Carlos hit .242 in 41 games to finish the 2016 season, sharing time in center field with Jake Marisnick over the last two months. His combined batting line for the year was .255 with 29 doubles and 12 homers, with 61 runs and 56 RBIs, well below his production of the previous two seasons. Still, the Astros managed to hang on to a postseason slot and he started the Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees on October 6th, playing CF and batting 6th. He was one of the heroes of Houston's 3-0 win, as he hit a solo homer off Masahiro Tanaka in the 4th inning. Marisnick started the first two games of the Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, with Carlos coming in as a late-game defensive replacement both games, then he started the final three games, going 3 for 12 with another homer, this one coming in a 9-6 loss in Game 4, a solo shot off Yordano Ventura in the 2nd inning. Carlos fell off significantly in 2016, however. In 85 games, he hit only .210, with 5 homers and 29 RBIs. Since he continued not to draw many walks, his OPS+ was a terrible 63, a huge hole in the line-up on a team battling to make it back to the postseason. The Astros gave him plenty of time to show that he could regain his previous form, but on August 10th, they had him designated for assignment, ending his stint with the team. On August 20th, he signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, who brought him up immediately. He did a lot better with the Rangers, hitting .284 in 33 games, with 8 homers and 24 RBIs. He then started all three games of the Division Series against the Toronto Blue Jays in left field, going 2 for 13. Satisfied with what they had seen, the Rangers re-signed him for 2017 at a salary of $11.5 million.
On April 29, 2017, he hit for the cycle for the second time in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels. It took him only four at-bats to accomplish the feat as he doubled in the 1st, singled in the 3rd, tripled in the 5th and completed it with a homer off Jose Valdez in the 9th. In 105 games for the Rangers, he hit .255 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs as the team's primary centerfielder. He became a free after the season but it took him until February 21st to find a team, and his landings pot was an unexpected one: the Tampa Bay Rays decided to give him a one-year contract three days after designating fellow OF Corey Dickerson for assignment, and one day after trading Steven Souza for prospects. It was clear that their interest in Gomez was sparked solely by the fact he was available on the cheap at this point, as the deal only cost them $4 million at a time the Rays were slashing salary with great vigor. On July 27th, he made hia big league pitching debut for the Rays in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles, and as these things go, it was one of the least effective ones ever: he retired just one batter, threw just 4 strikes out of 21 pitches, walked four opponents and managed to commit two balks. On the positive side, he did not allow a hit, but C Jesus Sucre, an habitué of these outings, had to bail him out by recording the final two outs. Gomez was charged with 3 runs in the 15-5 loss.
- 2-time NL All-Star (2013 & 2014)
- NL Gold Glove (2013)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2013 & 2014)
- David Adler: "5 reasons Gomez could be a savvy addition", mlb.com, November 26, 2016. 
- Richard Justice: "Rangers gave Gomez the chance he needed", mlb.com, February 28, 2017.