Carlos Gomez exited Sunday's game after aggravating a sore wrist. It turns out he has sprained wrist and is expected to miss a week or more. This comes at the worst time emotionally as the Brewers find themselves out of first place for the first time since April. However, in a way it also comes at the best time.
It's always going to hurt to miss a guy like Gomez in the outfield, but he hasn't exactly been on a tear at the plate. In August he only hit 238/319/448, 113 wRC+. That's not horrible, but he clearly hasn't been himself. The time off to heal his wrist could help refresh him all together. If he comes back stronger for the playoffs, that would be a very good thing.
The effect of missing Gomez for a week or more is also mitigated by the expanded rosters. The Brewers will most likely go with Gerardo Parra (who has hit 265/321/469, 118 wRC+) in center for the most part, but they also have Logan Schafer and Elian Herrera who can play back-up. If this was a month ago, the Brewers would have to decide to either play short in the hopes that Gomez can return in fewer than 15 days, or put him on the disabled list. Now they can just sit him, have their back-ups, and hope for Gomez to return in 7-10 days or whatever it ends up being.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to spin this as a good thing. It's not. The world has become a darker place for Brewers fans in September and this certainly doesn't help. No one is better in center than Gomez and at his best, few are better at the plate. I'm just saying there is a very real silver lining to this. Gerardo Parra is no slouch on defense and if we're lucky he could provide solid offense over the course of a week or so. Regardless, the Brewers are really going to earn their spot in the playoffs, if/when they get there.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs