Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has reportedly decided not to participate in the World Baseball Classic and has dropped himself from the Dominican Republic team.
There could be several personal reasons why Gomez decided to pull out but the most obvious one is that he wants to be prepared mentally and physically to play in the 2013 Major League Baseball season. This is a big year for Gomez as the Brewers have basically given him the full-time starting job in center field. Milwaukee would prefer to not use a platoon in center but that will all depend on how well Gomez performs out of the gates this year.
The 27-year-old performed at a high level in 2012 even though he was not seeing the field every day. Gomez posted career highs in batting average (.260), home runs (19), stolen bases (37), on-base percentage (.305), slugging percentage (.463) and wins above replacement (2.3). The fact that he was able to have the best numbers of his career in only 415 plate appearances is very impressive.
It is important for Gomez to have a solid year for the Brewers as they are going to need all the help they can get to compete in the National League Central in 2013. Milwaukee had one of the top ranked offenses in the NL last season and Gomez was a big part of that, but he will have to go above and beyond in order to ensure the Brewers get solid production out of the center field position. One reason it is believable he will be able to top his numbers from last season is because he is in his contract year and would like nothing more than sign a long-term deal with Milwaukee.
With Gomez and Minor League pitcher Nick Bucci backing out of the WBC the Brewers still have 13 players from different levels of the organization participating which is the most of any franchise in MLB.