Gomes' rebound season

Among the myriad of off-season decisions that need to be made will involve outfielder Jonny Gomes.

Gomes has resurrected his career in Cincinnati — he came into Sunday batting .276 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. Not too shabby considering he’s done that with 243 at-bats after starting the season in Triple-A Louisville. He’s played well vs. right-handers (.255/14/31) and lefties (.317/5/17). He’s one of the best clutch guys on the club with a .323 average w/RISP. He’s also been a great addition, personality-wise, to the clubhouse.

“I wanted to get on track and back on the map,” Gomes said on Sunday. “I did have a couple of 20 homer seasons in the big leagues under my belt without a lot of at-bats. The other one where I didn’t hit 20, I hit 17. Last year I didn’t have many at-bats.”

Gomes is making $600,000 at the big league level this season. The Reds could offer him arbitration, which is something he said he would accept. If they don’t and he becomes a free agent, it becomes less of a guarantee.  

Getting a chance to play, without the help of roster attrition, would be a factor.

“I think I’ve earned that opportunity,” Gomes said.

“It depends on needs, what’s out there, which kids might be ready coming up behind these guys,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

OK like yesterday with center field — you’re the GM. Do you bring Gomes back for 2010 and if so, does he start in left field?

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
McDonald 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

News of the day:

OF Willy Taveras and C Ramon Hernandez have started running the bases back in Cincinnati. There is a good chance that both players could be activated this week while the Reds are home.

LHP Matt Maloney threw on the side on Saturday but still has some soreness with the blister on his middle finger. It’s not known when Maloney might get another start yet.

With Louisville one game away from elimination in the playoffs, Baker wasn’t expecting a lot of call-ups since much of the 40-man roster is already up or on the DL. When asked if Yonder Alonso might come up, Baker responded “probably not.” Alonso might need a break to get ready for the Arizona Fall League.

And in the classy move of the day, the Cubs and their writers held an informal ceremony on the field for Hal McCoy on his last time working at Wrigley Field. Among the gifts was a No. 37 from the scoreboard — the number of years that Hal covered the Reds. Lou Piniella, Cubs GM Jim Hendry and former Red Ryan Dempster were among those sent Hal off the right way.

Hal McCoy night at GABP is Wednesday.

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4 Comments

Dusty sounds almost reluctant to admit that Gomes might be an option. I see those numbers and wonder who Dusty feels will fill in and consistently produce to that same degree. Guys like Gomes just need the confidence from their leaders. That confidence can catapult a player from a 20 HR guy to a possible 30 or more. I say give him a chance.. it seems like a cheap enough investment even if he gains some $ in arbitration.

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

I wouldn’t say reluctant…the better word is diplomatic.

Ok Mark. On your question on Gomes, my answer is – YES –
I believe that he should be playing an outfield spot next year. The man is full of energy, is always trying, has great power (more than anyone else on the Reds roster, including Bruce) and gives you 120% on the field.
I stilll can’t see why Baker keeps Philips as a clean up hitter.
They should have Rolen hitting 3rd., Gomes 4th., Votto 5th. and Philips 6th. – And them both, Phillips and Votto should know they are not home run hitters. They should swing for contact. Homers will come. Take of the pressure of those two guys.
Finally Mark, Reds are and will next year keep being a losers team. I see no hope for this team to play better than .500 next season. They still are a average double “A” team.

That’s great what the Cubs did for Hal McCoy. Three hall of famers from a single newspaper, and an out-of-town newspaper at that. That’s a remarkable feat. Apparently he’s the last of his tribe, which is a shame. Thirty-seven years from now, will there be newspapers? Or baseball?

And meanwhile, are the Reds better now than in April? Will they be better next April?

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