Gomes had a big year for the Reds in 2009, slugging 20 home runs in 98 games while posting an OPS of .879. He also put up a .941 OPS in AAA prior to being called up in late May. By coming back, the righty becomes the immediate favorite to pick up the majority of at bats in left field, presumably as the right-handed half of a platoon with Chris Dickerson. Pushed down the depth chart is Wladimir Balentien, who showed some promise after coming over from Seattle midseason.
The problem with Gomes, aside from his tendency to strike out, is that he has poor range in the field. His limited mobility costs his team runs, runs he doesn't necessarily make up at the plate. While he was productive a year ago, his OPS is just .801 for his career and .794 since 2007, and he'll need to sustain his 2009 gains if he wants to make any kind of positive overall contribution. A fine role player, one can nevertheless question the wisdom of choosing Gomes over the much younger Balentien, who offers a similar skillset and more room to develop.
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