Carlos Gomez has been one of the most dangerous hitters in the majors this season, but he took that title a bit too literally Sunday afternoon.
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Gomez hit a long fly ball to center field in his second at-bat Sunday. Thinking he got all of it, the 28-year-old pimped it out of the batter's box and began his slow jog around the bases. Upon seeing that the ball stayed in the yard, Gomez had to get on his horse to leg out a triple.
Taking exception to the Gomez' showboating, Pirates starter Gerrit Cole let Gomez know he didn't appreciate the lack of hustle. Gomez didn't appreciate Cole's lack of appreciation, and soon the benches cleared.
That's when things got wild. Among the highlights -- er, lowlights -- of the next few minutes were Gomez wildly swinging his helmet at opposing players, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider dumping Gomez and Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado clocking an unsuspecting Snider in the face. Gomez, Snider and Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected as a result of the fracas.
But the punishments aren't likely to end there. Major League Baseball is almost certain to hand out suspensions to involved parties, with Gomez at the top of the list. Regardless of who said what, using a helmet as a weapon is generally frowned upon.
Not helping his case is the fact that this is Gomez' second incident since last September. In that incident, Gomez got into it with then-Braves catcher Brian McCann after Gomez jawed at Paul Maholm while rounding the bases on a home run. Gomez was suspended for one game for his part in the bench-clearing altercation.
Whatever is handed down, Gomez has already said he'll appeal a suspension.
"I'm not expecting that," Gomez said of potentially receiving multiple games. "I'm not the one who makes the decision. Whatever they say, I'm going to appeal it because I'm not the one that started nothing."
While any suspension won't likely be too long, the timing is less than ideal for Gomez owners. The outfielder is white hot in the early going, slashing .312/.365/.610 with five home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored through 19 games. Anything to disrupt that rhythm is bad news for the Brewers and fantasy players alike. Monday will likely be the day of reckoning, so Gomez owners should take note accordingly.
Davis Dealt To The Bucs
The Pirates were in the news Friday as well -- closer to the front of A1 than Sunday's appearance in the police blotter, fortunately.
The Bucs ended Ike Davis' long national nightmare and filled a first base void of their own when they acquired the maligned first baseman from the Mets late Friday. The Pirates dealt RHP Zachary Thornton and a player to be named later in exchange for Davis.
In Davis, the Pirates get a player who had 32 home runs and 90 RBI in 2012. Davis was up and down in 2013, launching just nine home runs while posting a .205/.326/.334 line. This season, he'd gotten off to a similarly slow start, batting just .208 with one home run in 12 games.
More importantly, Davis had lost the faith of his former organization. Mets manager Terry Collins publicly proclaimed Lucas Duda as the starting first baseman in early April, and with similar skillsets -- Duda, like Davis, is a left-handed power hitter with contact issues -- the writing was on the wall for the 27-year-old. In New York, Davis was going nowhere.
The fresh start offers some hope for Davis. He'll get regular at-bats with the Pirates -- Travis Ishikawa, who had been playing the left-handed role of the platoon at first base, was designated for assignment after the trade -- and won't be asked to do much of the heavy lifting with Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez in the middle of the lineup. In his first start with his new club, Davis batted sixth in the lineup and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Davis acknowledged the opportunity to start over.
I had a great time here,” Davis said after the trade. “I didn’t play as well as I should have. Now I get a fresh start and hopefully I get right back to where I used to be.”
Davis is young enough to take advantage of a new opportunity and still make something of it. Now it's up to him to do it.
Nova Under The Knife?
Another day, another serious elbow injury to a major league pitcher.
On Sunday, it was Ivan Nova who got the bad news. Nova left Saturday's start against the Rays with elbow pain, and Sunday the Yankees placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Nova will be examined by the team doctor on Monday, and he'll likely make a decision on whether to have season-ending surgery on the elbow in the coming days. While rest is one course of action, Tommy John surgery is the usual outcome for these types of injuries.
It's a devastating blow for Nova and the Yankees, as the team was looking for the 27-year-old to take a step forward after posting a 3.10 ERA in 139 1/3 innings last season. Instead, the Yanks will likely turn to Vidal Nuno, who held the Rays scoreless over five innings in a start Sunday.
National League Quick Hits: It's 2014 and the sentence "Kyle Farnsworth has replaced Jose Valverde as the Mets closer" is still relevant ... Mike Minor (shoulder) will rejoin the Braves rotation for Saturday's game against the Reds ... Jason Grilli blew his third save of the season Sunday after blowing just two in all of 2013 ... Cole Hamels (biceps) has been cleared to rejoin the Phillies' rotation. He'll start Wednesday against the Dodgers ... Ryan Howard went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in Sunday's win, his first four-hit game since 2011 ... Justin Morneau hit a home run and drove in five in the same game. Morneau has three homers and 12 RBI in his last five games ... Bryce Harper was removed from Saturday's game for a lack of hustle. He was back in the lineup for Sunday's tilt, and there seems to be little fallout from the incident ... Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer in Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks, just his second homer of the year ... Carlos Gonzalez was removed from Sunday's game with knee tendinitis. He's being called day-to-day ... Christian Yelich has a 14-game hitting streak heading into Monday's action.
American League Quick Hits: The A's signed Sean Doolittle to a four-year contract extension. Including this season, Doolittle is expected to earn around $14 million ... Adam Eaton will sit out a few more games after injuring his hamstring and ankle Friday. It's not a DL situation at this point ... Manny Machado (knee) played in an extended spring training game Saturday and will play again Monday. He's on target for a return to the O's in early May ... Shane Victorino (hamstring) will play in three rehab games before being re-evaluated on Tuesday. If all goes well, Victorino should be back in Boston before the weekend ... Adam Lind (back) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. He'll be out a couple of weeks ... Gordon Beckham (oblique) is expected back Friday ... Marcus Semien went 4-for-6 with four RBI on Sunday. His reward could be a demotion when Beckham returns ... Trevor Plouffe and Chris Colabello have combined for one of the least likely one-two punches in baseball in the first few weeks of the season. Colabello leads the American League with 20 RBI, and Plouffe went 3-for-4 Sunday to raise his batting line to .313/.420/.493.