His signing was met with all the joy of a bad case of athlete’s foot.
He had worn out his welcome in Houston with a season and a half of misery in which he batted .221 with nine home runs and only forty-two RBIs. That’s combined for both years.
He struck out 4.5-times more than he walked. More than one-third of his at-bats. He bottomed out to rank among the worst everyday players in baseball.
His last week with his last team he butchered two plays in centerfield in one game that allowed two runs to score in a 3-1 loss. That was a week after he lost a ball in the lights in a nonchalant effort.
Astros fans hated him so much one even started a fund to raise money to buy out his contract.
Astros writers described him like this: He displayed a cannon for an arm but no control over it. Blazing speed that took bad routes to balls. A home run swing that couldn’t connect with the ball.
He was the Tom Wilhelmsen of outfielders.
Yet, in his first at-bat in a Rangers uniform, on his second pitch, with two runners on and two outs, Carlos Gomez surprised everyone by lining a home run deep into the left field stands.
The Rangers were up 3-0. And the Carlos Gomez era was underway.
He bunted into an out his next time up, then struck out.
But it was an auspicious beginning for Carlos Gomez.
Jon Daniels has made some brilliant pick ups this year: Ian Desmond, A. J. Griffin, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Beltran, Matt Bush, Tony Barnette.
He has made some horrible pick ups this year: Kyle Lohse, Lucas Harrell, Justin Ruggiano, Cesar Ramos, Tom Wilhelmsen, Dario Alverez.
Time will tell whether Gomez belongs in Column A or Column B.
But for one night, he belongs on the list of intensely hated players who redeemed themselves in a Rangers uniform, the last being the return of Josh Hamilton.
Corey Kluber (13-8, 3.13) vs. Martin Perez (8-9, 4.27)
Game time: 7:05
How the Indians hit against Kluber.
How the Rangers hit against Perez.