Two days after a couple of misplays in the outfield at Target Field may have cost his team a victory, Carlos Gomez is not longer an Astro.
The move wasn’t related to Monday’s difficulties, manager A.J. Hinch said, but an acknowledgement that Houston’s roster is about to evolve again, and the team’s plans don’t include the former Twins outfielder. Houston designated Gomez for assignment Wednesday afternoon, and Gomez left Target Field to return to Houston.
“We really wanted to start playing the guys who we felt were going to help us on a nightly basis. That’s not a knock on Carlos Gomez — he brought his best every single day that he could to try to help us win. But the roster construction is going to change over the next week to 10 days, and he was starting to be on the outside looking in,” Hinch said shortly after breaking the news to the 30-year-old outfielder, who spent the 2008-09 seasons in Minnesota. “With some of the roster moves we see pending over the next couple of weeks, he started to lose his spot on our team.”
Gomez was the Astros’ major trade-deadline acquisition last July, but he wasn’t able to repeat the success he had in Milwaukee with the Astros. Gomez hit only four home runs in the final two months of the 2015 season, batting just .242 in 41 games, and his production bottomed out this year. In addition to more frequent problems in the outfield, Gomez was batting just .210 this season with five home runs, and his playing time was increasingly being cut.
Gomez, acquired by the Twins in the Johan Santana trade in 2008 and traded to Milwaukee for J.J. Hardy two seasons later, can become a free agent at season’s end, and Hinch said that may have had something to do with his declining production.
“I know he carried the burden of being a big acquisition. He often spoke of feeling responsible to try to play better, knowing he was our big addition last July,” Hinch said. “I think he put a lot of pressure on himself to be perfect. The more he tried, the harder it became.”