Jonny Gomes’ attitude may be great but his bat and glove aren’t helping the Braves

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Before the season began there were a TON of articles in Atlanta media talking about how great a clubhouse presence Jonny Gomes would be, how he brought grit and blue collar attitude and all of that jive. And, to be fair, the Braves probably needed some of that jive, as they were a pretty lackadaisical team last season.

I suspected that once the rubber hit the road and the Braves began to lose a lot of games — or once Gomes showed that, no, he’s not good enough to be a regular player anymore — that the Gomes love would stop. It did for spell, but since the Braves are hovering around .500 and, because the Mets and Nats have stumbled lately and the Braves are only three and a half games out, the meme is back in full force. Use today’s AJC to fill out your “grit” bingo card:

Gomes had that effect on Boston and Red Sox Nation, where his hustle and blue-collar attitude were greatly appreciated, along with his overt patriotism and front-and-center role in helping Boston sports teams and citizens come together – Boston Proud — and get through the trauma many felt from the Boston Marathon finish-line bombing in 2013.

The bearded outfielder became a galvanizing presence with the Red Sox, a team that already had iconic David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, but quickly embraced Gomes’ fiery enthusiasm and indefatigable optimism. Along with his right-handed power and flair for dramatic pinch-hit homers.

All of which is followed up by Braves teammates singing his praises and lauding his grit and hustle, just the way you’d expect them to. And I don’t doubt for one second that he’s great to have around if you’re a Braves player. All of his teammates have always talked about his presence and attitude and all of that.

But the fact is that he’s hitting .210/.294/.328 and plays poor defense in left field which costs the Braves on a regular basis. He has one decent skill left besides the rah-rah and that’s reaching base against lefties. Yet Fredi Gonzalez has given him twice as many plate appearances against righties than lefties and he’s dragging the team down as a result.

Braves: you may love Gomes, but he either (a) needs to be a coach; or (b) needs to be used strictly against lefties. Because all of the gritty grit in the world doesn’t replace actual production, no matter how loudly you praise it in the local media.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.