Pittsburgh Pirates‘ hurler Jeanmar Gomez came into Monday’s spring training contest with a chance at the last spot in the team’s rotation. His chances took a huge hit after he allowed four runs in 1.1 innings against the Minnesota Twins.
Gomez, who came over from the the Cleveland Indians in January, got himself into trouble with both hits and walks in his second inning of work. The big blow came when Justin Morneau doubled home three runs. After that, Gomez faced one more batter and was pulled from the game.
If Gomez was a veteran, this horrible outing wouldn’t be a big deal. But, unfortunately, he is a fairly young pitcher just trying to hang on with the big club. In parts of three seasons in the majors, he has a 14-16 record with an earned run average of 5.18. These are hardly dazzling numbers that will secure him a spot on the opening day roster, and he doesn’t have the luxury of trying to work things out.
This is all good news for those who want to see Jeff Locke get the last spot in the rotation. Locke was impressive in his first appearance, pitching three hitless inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
The race for the fifth slot will probably go deep into the spring, and there are several guys that could wind up with the job. But, Locke is now the distinct favourite after just a few days into spring training, and Gomez is the guy the is lagging way behind everyone else.