The Phillies announced that they’ve signed right-hander Jeanmar Gomez to a minor league contract with an invite to big league Spring Training. Gomez is a client of Praver/Shapiro.
The 26-year-old Gomez has spent the past two seasons with the Pirates serving primarily as a long reliever, although he did start eight games in 2013 as well. Gomez worked a total of 142 2/3 innings for the Pirates in those two seasons, registering a very nice 3.28 ERA. However, he also missed few bats (5.7 K/9) with respectable but not elite control (3.2 BB/9) and likely benefited, to an extent, from Pittsburgh’s excellent defense and aggressive implementation of defensive shifts.
Gomez has a career ground-ball rate of 50.1 percent, which should help his cause in the hitter-friendly Citizen’s Bank Park if he makes the Phillies’ roster, but metrics like FIP (4.37), xFIP (4.25) and SIERA (4.16) were more down on his work in 2014 than his ERA. He saw his strikeout rate dip a bit from 2013 to 2014, while his walk rate trended upward and his ground-ball rate dropped from 55.4 percent to a closer-to-average 46.8 percent.
While Gomez was very hittable last season — 10.2 H/9 and a .292/.356/.454 opponent batting line — he’s enjoyed good bottom-line results over the past two seasons. He will give a thin Phillies pitching staff some relative youth and a candidate to provide innings, be they out of the rotation or bullpen. Gomez also comes with just over three years of big league service time, meaning that if he performs well, the Phillies can retain him through the 2017 season via arbitration if they wish.