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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Friday, April 22, 2005
Devil Rays - Called up Gomes
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Called up OF Jonny Gomes; optioned P John Webb to Durham (AAA).
Damn you Christian Ruzich! The competition (Christian’s well-known Transaction Guy blog) is at the point now where he’s writing the best transaction product. So it looks like Dan’s going to have to use his 4th anniversary to redouble his efforts and start writing more about these lesser moves.
So, we’ll start with a player who’s fast becoming a stathead fave, Jonny Gomes. After looking like he was on the fast-track after the first year and a half in the minors, Gomes was disappointing for Orlando and pushed to the side in the deep Devil Ray farm system (for outfielders at least). Gomes rebounded with a big 2004 in Durham and while Mike Emeigh makes the accurate argument that there are some huge advantages offense-wise to playing in Durham, when you have a 23-year-old with a near-900 OPS in the minors and Alex Sanchez is with the parent club, there’s a point at which you simply have to give the player some kind of chance to sink or swim in the majors.
Gomes certainly doesn’t have the upside that Carl Crawford has and nowhere near the physical tools, but that’s not what’s been keeping him from the majors. With Baldelli injured, there was simply no real justification for Tampa Bay bringing Danny Bautista and Alex Sanchez, proven mediocrities both (generous for the latter) and just handing them jobs.
Long-term, Gomes ain’t starting - there’s a slim-to-none chance that Crawford or Young will be inferior choices to Gomes and that leaves Gomes’ only chance being Rocco Baldelli recovering very poorly from his torn ACL a la Jose Offerman’s knee troubles in Boston.
John Webb goes down to make room for Gomes. Webb’s first major league start was ugly, even by Devil Ray pitcher standards (save Robby Bell).
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