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With Gomez Gone, Defense Loses Its Star

Following Wednesday night’s game in Arizona, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that Carlos Gomez would be sidelined for “about two months” after fracturing his collarbone while making a diving catch. Gomez could be out for the rest of the season if he needs surgery.

While losing a guy who was hitting .220/.270./378 doesn’t seem like a huge deal, Roenicke and Gomez’s teammates seem to understand just how big of a loss this is. On top of losing the team’s best late-inning pinch-running option, they also lost their defensive ace. While Nyjer Morgan is also an above-average defender, Gomez was having one of the best defensive years we’ve seen from a Brewers centerfielder in some time. Just to put it into perspective how good Gomez was this year, here’s the full list of the Brewers’ UZR totals on the year.

As a team, the Brewers have a UZR of -0.9, which is right around the middle of the pack this year (16 of 30 as of this morning). Gomez accounts for +9.1 of the team’s total — without him, they would drop into the bottom 10.

Gomez CF 9.1
Morgan RF 3.2
Weeks 2B 2.7
Counsell SS 2.3
Morgan CF 2.2
Counsell 3B 1.4
McGehee 3B 0.8
Wilson 2B 0.6
Hart RF 0.5
Wilson LF 0.5
Kotsay 1B 0.5
Gamel 1B 0.3
Boggs CF 0.2
Counsell 2B 0.2
Almonte 1B 0.2
Gamel LF 0.1
Boggs RF 0.0
McGehee 1B 0.0
Counsell LF 0.0
Wilson 3B 0.0
Wilson SS -0.2
Kotsay LF -0.5
Morgan LF -0.7
Gamel 3B -1.0
Kotsay RF -1.3
Kotsay CF -1.4
Almonte RF -2.3
Fielder 1B -2.7
Braun LF -5.5
Betancourt SS -10.0

Of course, if you want to look at it another way, if the Brewers had an average defensive shortstop playing the position all year, they’d be in the Top 10 in team defense.