Carlos Gomez was just being Carlos Gomez when he made a fantastic catch to save a run in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday night in Arizona, but it just may end his 2011 season. Gomez landed awkwardly on his left shoulder and suffered a fractured left clavicle. Depending on the severity, this injury just may end Gomez’s season.
Gomez takes a lot of flak for his approach at the plate, but he was just getting into a groove, with a respectable 89 wRC+ entering the game. Of course, defense is the name of the game for Gomez, and Carlos was in the midst of probably the best defensive season I’ve had the pleasure to watch. The numbers certainly agree — in just over a third of a season’s worth of innings, Gomez had compiled a +9 UZR and a staggering +17 DRS. And the highlights agree more.
The loss of Gomez should be mitigated a bit by the presence of plus defender Brett Carroll at AAA Nashville. With the Marlins, Carroll posted a +18 UZR/+24 DRS in 700 innings (a little under half a full season), mostly in right field. Carroll should be capable in center field, and his arm is one of the greatest in professional baseball according to some talent evaluators, but he likely won’t be able to completely replace Gomez.
Carroll’s bat in the majors has been poor, as he has a .205/.284/.320 triple-slash (AVG/OBP/SLG) line between parts of four seasons. That’s basically Gomez without power, although he has performed well in the minor leagues — a .281/.355/.474 triple-slash. However, in the PCL, that’s merely an average line. The best we can realistically expect out of Carroll is probably something like .235/.305/.350 — he’s clearly a defense-first player, much like Gomez.