Pittsburgh Pirates: Jeanmar Gomez Quietly Played a Big Role in 2013
By Marty Leap
When people think of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates one player that quietly played a big role is often times forgotten about
The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the most memorable teams in the team’s long and storied history. By winning 94 games, the 2013 Bucs snapped a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons, as well as the franchise’s 20 year postseason drought.
On their way to defeating the Cincinnati Reds in unforgettable fashion in the National League Wild Card Game and pushing the eventual NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals to the limit in the NLDS, many players made their mark for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Some of the best players in franchise history such as Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Mark Melancon, Russell Martin, and Starling Marte all played vital roles for the Pirates that season. However, one player that quietly played a big role is often times forgotten.
On January 9, 2013, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Jeanmar Gomez from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league outfielder Quincy Latimore. At the time this move made little to no waves among Pirate fans. Gomez was coming off three consecutive seasons with an ERA of 4.47 or higher, including a 5.96 ERA in 2012. But as everyone knows the unexpected often times happens in baseball, and that is what happened with Gomez in 2013.
Entering spring training it was unclear if Gomez would even crack the Opening Day roster. The ground ball specialist did indeed make the team out of spring, starting the season in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen.
In 34 outings in 2013, Gomez posted a 3.35 ERA and a 3.85 FIP in 80.2 innings of work. At the time, this was a new career low ERA and FIP for Gomez. While he did not strike very many batters out (15.9% strikeout rate), he only walked 28 batters and allowed just six home runs.
Gomez became former Pirate manager Clint Hurdle’s go to man when he needed long relief out of the bullpen. He was also able to pitch in high leverage situations when need be. Most importantly for the 2013 Pirates was what Gomez gave to the team when the starting had injury issues.
Out of the 34 appearances Gomez made in 2013, eight of them were starts. In those eight starts Gomez posted a 2.80 ERA in 35.1 innings of work. His ability to help the starting rotation stabilize while the team battled starting rotation injuries during the summer played a large role in the Pirates making the postseason.
That postseason, Gomez’s strong season would continue. He only pitched one game in the postseason, which was Game 1 of the NLDS. But in this outing Gomez gave the team 4 shutout innings of work to help save the bullpen after Burnett lasted just 2 innings.
Gomez again played a key role for the Pirates in 2014. This time logging 62 innings in 44 appearances, all of them in relief, he posted a 3.19 ERA. However, after experiencing a drop in strikeout and walk rate, a rise in home run rate, and watching his FIP rise to 4.37, Gomez was designated for assignment by the Pirates following the season.
After leaving the Pirates, Gomez would pitch the next three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. This included a 37 save season in 2016, this, however, was in spite of a 4.85 ERA. He then pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 2018 and the Texas Rangers in 2019. Currently, he is a free agent.