Phillies history: What happened to Jeanmar Gomez?
What happened to the former Phillies closer?
When the Phillies went into nearly a decade of rebuilding there were stars who emerged for just a brief period of time who disappeared as quickly as they arrived.
A notable player who seemed to have disappeared from the game is the Phillies former closer Jeanmar Gomez.
Some may not realize that Gomez was somewhat of a veteran player when he made it to Philadelphia in 2015. He had played portions of five seasons with Cleveland and Pittsburgh, first as a starter and then as a reliever.
Philadelphia signed Gomez prior to the 2015 season when Jonathan Papelbon was still their closer and Ken Giles was emerging as the heir to Papelbon’s role. Gomez was projected to be a middle reliever who would play a small role for a team fighting for one more chance at winning after celebrating only 73 wins the year before.
In his first season with the Phillies Gomez had a career year with a 3.01 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 65 games. At the trade deadline Papelbon was dealt to Washington and Giles stepped in as the closer, electrifying the team with a triple-digit fastball and 15 saves.
With the rise of Giles and the fall of the greatest era in Phillies history, the team traded Giles to the Houston Astros for Brett Oberholtzer and prospects Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Tom Eshelman, and Vince Velasquez.
Gomez would quickly win the closer’s job came out hot in 2016 with eight saves and a 1.80 in his first 13 games. He had 50 appearances with no earned runs allowed and saved 37 games in his first year as a major league closer.
Those 37 games put Gomez’s 2016 season in the top-10 for saves in a single season by a Phillie.
The following season was not kind for Gomez from the beginning when he allowed a two-run home in the ninth inning on opening day against the Reds, a game the Phillies won by one run. Two games later he blew a save against the Nationals giving up a three-run ninth-inning pinch-hit home run to Ryan Zimmerman.
Two games after that his ERA ballooned to 11.81 and he took a loss when he gave up a walk-off 10th inning home run to Daniel Murphy.
In his first dozen games through May Gomez had a 7.63 ERA with six home runs. After another loss on June 18, he was designated for assignment.
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Gomez pitched for the Brewers and Mariners Triple-A teams to finish the 2017 season and signed with the White Sox for 2018. He had a 4.68 ERA in 26 appearances and spent 30 games in Triple-A.
Last year Gomez signed a minor league deal with the Rangers and made the team out of spring training, but once again he failed to stick with the team through the season and was released on June 1.
Gomez wasn’t signed going into the 2020 season and there have been no transactions listed anywhere for the 32-year-old Venezuelan pitcher.
Unfortunately, Gomez was only a flash in the pan for the Phillies but his 37 saves were an important piece of Phillies history in a year where they only won 71 games.