On Tuesday, the Houston Astros placed struggling center fielder Carlos Gomez on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left rib cage.
Gomez sustained the injury while diving for a sinking line drive off the bat of Stephen Vogt during the game on April 29. Gomez had an X-ray following the conclusion of the game that came back negative, but, regardless of the test results, Gomez was pretty sore. It was the second X-ray Gomez had had that week — he was hit by a pitch on his right hand a few days prior; X-rays on his hand were negative, too.
To replace Gomez’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Astros promoted third-base prospect Colin Moran from the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. In 32 games with the Grizzlies this season, Moran slashed .331/.416/.747 and drove in 22 runs. As for the center-field duties, the Astros will turn to Jake Marisnick. Marisnick has three hits in a mere 30 at-bats, meaning he has had limited opportunities with the bat prior to filling the daily role in center field.
The Astros acquired Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers at last season’s trade deadline with hopes to solidify their defense in the outfield and up their power numbers. Gomez won a Gold Glove Award three years ago and committed a total of seventeen errors in 3,471.2 defensive innings from 2013 to 2015. During the same three-year span, Gomez showed a great deal of extra-base power. Gomez collected 426 hits in the time frame, including 90 doubles, fifteen triples, and 59 home runs. Thus far in 2016, defensive numbers aside, Gomez has done just the opposite.
In 121 at-bats (132 plate appearances) this season, Gomez has 22 hits, enough for a meager .182 batting average. Gomez has five RBIs and has whiffed 46 times, the highest strikeout total for a batter with the Astros and sixth-highest mark among American League batters.