The 2016 Philadelphia Phillies will undoubtedly see changes in the big league roster, and the bullpen roles could feature the most competition.
As spring training draws near, I am continuing with my series on those 2016 Phillies’ bullpen candidates who find themselves in that wide-open competition for roster spots. Today, righty Jeanmar Gomez is the next contender in the spotlight.
Gomez made brief news the other day when, as reported here at TBOH, the club signed him to a contract for $1.4 million, a nice raise from the $800,000 that he earned in 2015.
It is money that he indeed did earn, and money well spent on a player who joined the Phils last year on a minor league pact with an invitation to spring training. He then proceeded to have a strong season for the club in a variety of roles.
Gomez produced a 3.01 ERA, 2-3 record, and a solid 2.94 K/BB ratio over a rather large 74.2 innings pitched. While a 3.25 FIP may indicate that he was a bit lucky, Gomez did a nice job overall.
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Prior to coming to the Phillies, Gomez spent parts of three seasons with the Indians and then almost a full two MLB seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His three years of time with the Indians, which were fairly unfruitful, were spent mostly as a starter. He made 38 starts out of his 42 appearances with the Tribe. During that time as an Indians starter he had a 5.18 ERA with a poor 1.58 K/BB ratio.
Then with the Pirates, Gomez was switched over to the bullpen. He had a 3.35 ERA while only starting in eight out of his 34 games with Pittsburgh in 2013, and had a 3.19 ERA while making all 44 of his appearances in 2014 out of the pen. Gomez overall performances have shown him to be more effective as a reliever.
With a strong 2015 out of the Phillies bullpen and a relatively solid track record of relief success in the past, Gomez appears primed to return in the same role for the Phillies again in 2016, and should be feeling pretty confident.
Gomez pitched 74.2 innings for the Phillies in 2015, and will likely once again be given the responsibility of pitching plenty of innings. He may even occasionally coming to the rescue of the mostly young starting rotation, making a spot start here and there for a group that could have some growing pains. There will be plenty of opportunities to pitch for an effective arm such as his, in any number of roles.
While not a lock, Gomez is pretty close to one, and is as good a bet as any in the bullpen mix to actually make the team. A smooth spring without any major physical or performance disasters will have him on the Phillies big league roster when camp breaks. Things are definitely looking up for Gomez, who could find a role with the team for the forseeable future.