Carlos Gomez may be remembered this season for scoring the game-winning run in Game 5 of the NLDS, but its clear that his defense is what made him such an asset to the club.
While we'll probably always shake our heads and wonder why he can't figure out patience at the plate, necessitating that he be played in a platoon, we have to be thankful for every game that Gomez was our center fielder.
Gomez's UZR for 2011 in CF was 12.0. That's good for 10th best in the majors.
For reference, Nyjer Morgan's UZR was 9.2. Corey Hart's UZR for 2011 was 1.9. Ryan Braun's UZR for 2011 was -3.8 . Mark Kotsay's UZR in CF was also -2.3.
Gomez started the season as the everyday center fielder - he started 46 games from April through May, but just 17 from June til the end of the year. By June he and Morgan were in a pretty strict platoon.
Because of his infrequent playing time, some of Gomez's amazing plays really stand out in the memory of 2011.
Though we will mostly remember Gomez for the amazing defense he provided the club, we can't forget what an asset his speed is. He showcased it early with this inside-the-park home run at home against San Francisco.
The Brewers didn't end up winning this game, but Gomez put on a defensive show, making two catches at the wall to keep the game in reach. First was this one in the fifth, followed by this catch in the seventh.
On June 12, he saved a run and probably the game against St. Louis with a great catch at the wall in the 9th that gave the Brewers 1st place in the NL Central.
Maybe it was inevitable with the way he sacrifices his body for catches, but Gomez broke his collar bone on July 20 against Arizona. He didn't return to the major league roster for six weeks.
Contract Status: Gomez signed a one-year $1.5 million contract before last season, a $400,000 raise from the year before. He is arbitration eligible, so the Brewers would have to come to terms with him or take him to an arbitration hearing.
Best Game: It has to be NLDS Game 5, right? I mean, we talked about some of his incredible defense, but it was Gomez's speed that put him in the position for Nyjer Morgan to plate him to win the game in the 10th. Gomez had just 14 post-season at-bats, but he made the most of his pinch-hit in NLDS Game 5. He had been put in the game in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement for Corey Hart. Batting second in the 10th inning he put a single in left field. He then stole second base. He raced home from second on Morgan's single, giving the Brewers their first post-season series win since 1982.