Word has come down that Joe Maddon is no longer considering Jonny Gomes for playing time at first base. Gomes has arrived to Spring Training healthy and strong and Maddon says that makes him an outfielder. Of course somebody should tell Mr. Gomes that, as he apparently didn’t even bring a glove to Spring Training. He had been borrowing Rocco Baldelli’s first baseman’s glove (wait?!? Rocco has a first baseman’s glove?). So the question now becomes, how often will we see Gomes in the lineup? Well, that depends on Mr. Elijah Dukes. If Dukes makes the team as the fourth outfielder, Gomes will almost never see time in the outfield (when not giggling at the picture above, it is clear that Gomes not playing the outfield could be a good thing). Dukes will also command at bats at DH when he is not subbing for one of the Rays uber-stud outfielders. Complicating matters further is the plight of B. J. Upton. Upton is set to play on a regular basis at a number of different positions. On those days, the regular at his position may be worked into the DH spot. We can see Upton getting plenty of starts at second and a few in center, and on many of those days Jorge Cantu and Rocco Baldelli will fill in at DH.
Jonny Gomes is 1-dimensional. He is a power hitter. Given 500 at bats he could easily hit 40 home runs. But he is not a good hitter. This was evident by his performance last year. Yes he was hurt. He had lost his power. A good hitter would have compensated and adjusted his swing. Gomes couldn’t do that. In the end, don’t be surprised if Gomes only gets 250-300 at bats again this year. This is a team that has talent. And this is a team that is deep. There are too many players and not enough at bats. Sorry Mr. Gomes.