Jonny Gomes tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he plans to play in 2017. He said, “I’ve got some more pull homers in the tank.”
To be charitable, he certainly conserved those pull homers over the past couple of years, so maybe he does a have a few left. It works like that, right? I assume so. With Christmas fast approaching I’m far too busy to check, but we’ll go with it for now.
Gomes, who is 36, last appeared in the majors in 2015 while batting .213/.313/.347 with seven homers, 26 RBI and a good half dozen stories about his leadership and clubhouse presence in 262 plate appearances between the Braves and Royals. Last year he really conserved those pull homers, hitting only one, while playing only 18 games with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League before the parties agreed to part ways.
Whether any team rewards Gomes’ prudent refusal to waste the finite number of home runs he was allocated years ago with a contract is unclear, but it will be a minor league one if a deal does, indeed, come to pass. The minor leaguers with whom he’ll play a lot of late inning spring training games had best be prepared to be led like they’ve never been led before.
The Orioles won their 19th game of the season 11 days ago. The club snapped a nine-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Marlins 10-4 to finally cross the 20-win threshold. Aside from the Orioles, who have baseball’s worst record (20-50), the White Sox were the slowest team to reach 20 wins, securing No. 20 on June 6 — 11 days ago, for those of you keeping score.
Mark Trumbo had three hits including a solo home run, three runs scored, and two RBI. Jace Peterson knocked in four runs, including two with a two-run homer. Starter Dylan Bundy wasn’t particularly sharp, giving up four runs over six innings, but it was good enough for the W.
Coincidentally, the Orioles’ last two wins at Camden Yards came on Father’s Day (June 17) and Mother’s Day (May 13). They were on an 11-game home losing streak.
There hasn’t been any one singular cause for the Orioles’ woes. The club has dealt with a handful of injuries. First baseman Chris Davis is having a tremendously terrible season, so much so that a Baltimore-area bar is offering free shots whenever he gets a hit. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop hasn’t hit anywhere close to the way he hit last year. Free agent pick-up Alex Cobb has a 7.14 ERA over 12 starts. Andrew Cashner has a 4.98 ERA and is on the 10-day disabled list. Zach Britton has been absent most of the season due to an injury, only recently coming back.
No one expected the Orioles to hang with the Yankees and Red Sox this season, but I don’t think anyone was expecting them to reach 20 wins in the middle of June, either.