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.