Brewers and Carlos Gomez avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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UPDATE: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Gomez will earn $1.5 million in 2011, up from his $1.1 million salary in 2010.

8:38 PM: According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the Brewers and Carlos Gomez avoided arbitration today by agreeing on a one-year contract.

Terms aren’t yet available, but Gomez made $1.1 million in his first time through the arbitration process as a “Super Two” last offseason.

Gomez, 25, batted just .247/.298/.357 over 291 at-bats with the Brewers this past season, disturbingly similar to his career batting line of .246/.293/.349 over 1,420 major league plate appearances. The former top prospect is still an asset defensively and possesses plus-speed, but it’s hard to do much damage if you can’t get to first base.

There was some debate about whether Gomez was going to be non-tendered earlier this month, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin recently told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Lorenzo Cain was not going to be handed the starting center fielder job. There’s still a chance that Gomez will be traded, but if not, look for some competition during spring training.

And yes, I only did this story so I could post that picture.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.