Gomez hitless in second rehab game
Center fielder plays seven innings for Class A Wisconsin
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez got another start in center field for the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, batted second in the order, and had a similar night on Thursday as he did on Wednesday, with minimal action in the field and an 0-for-3 night at the plate.
After playing a scheduled five innings on Wednesday, Gomez played seven innings in his second rehab game for a strained left hamstring. Much like his first game, Gomez didn't have too much activity in the outfield. A ground ball hit up the middle in the first inning and a fourth inning flyout were the only balls that entered the vast area of centerfield that Gomez is used to covering.
In the process of making his only catch of the game, Gomez lost his hat, which may have been due to the strong winds, or a sign of Gomez getting back to full speed. Despite the few opportunities on defense, and a few at-bats on offense, the main objective is to come out healthy.
"The most important thing is get healthy, and feel fine," Gomez said. "[On Wednesday], I didn't play out of control, I didn't try to do too much. But [Thursday], I tried harder. I'm really happy because I started feeling better. I'll try to continue to run harder and put up my game. When I come back and be part of the team, I want to be 100 percent."
And while he was only scheduled to play seven innings, Gomez felt he could have gone deeper into the game.
"We have to take it step by step in the program," Gomez said. "[On Friday], I'll have seven innings again. I feel like I can go all the way through. I want to try a little more intense."
Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson saw a Gomez that he had seen in the big leagues, someone who plays with "reckless abandon."
"He looked like he was a little better tonight," Erickson said, "He looked a little more comfortable. That ball [the fourth-inning flyout] was driven into right-center field, and he got over there and made it look pretty easy."
Gomez was unable to reach base, but felt good at the plate.
"I tried to see pitches, because when I come back to the [Brewers], I want to feel ready with my eyes, tracking the ball," Gomez said. "I'm taking it step by step, seeing some pitches. I want to see the more pitches I can for when I get called up.
"In the Minor Leagues, you don't know who pitches, but you know as a big league player, they'll try to overdue it, and you're a little afraid to get on the plate. A young kid throwing hard may try to impress, saying 'I got out Carlos Gomez.' I'm a little afraid to get more on the plate because I don't want to get hit or injured."
The plan for the remaining two rehab games is to play seven innings Friday, and finish up with a full nine innings Saturday. Looking ahead the next few days, Erickson wants to see an even more aggressive Gomez.
"I would like to see him get more comfortable and more aggressive down the baseline," Erickson said. "Obviously he doesn't want to get hurt here and set back any rehab. Overall, I'm looking for him to get more comfortable. Hopefully everything goes all right where he can get back into a Brewer uniform Sunday."
If Gomez is able to return to the Brewers on Sunday, he'll return to Miller Park for the final game of a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins, where Gomez called home before a trade to the Brewers.
"It's exciting to come back and face my old team," Gomez said. "I have a lot of good friends in Minnesota. The coaches for the Twins are still in contact and have good relationships. Hopefully, I'll be ready to go."
Adam DeCock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.