5/27/2013 7:25 P.M. ET
Years after time in Minnesota, Gomez coming into own
By Kevin Massoth / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Gomez was batting third for the Brewers on Monday, a prime place to show his former manager he had developed into the sort of impact player Ron Gardenhire had always envisioned.
Gomez delivered the second multihomer game of his career -- both in the span of three games -- but the Brewers fell to the Twins, 6-3 at Miller Park. Gomez was not in the mood to celebrate his ninth and 10th home runs of the season.
"You don't enjoy it when things are going like this," Gomez said.
Gardenhire managed Gomez in Minnesota in 2008 and 2009, and "managed" is the proper term, the way Gardenhire tells it. Four years later, Gomez is one of the National League's top early-season hitters, fifth in the league with a .326 batting average and ninth with a .943 OPS entering Monday.
"I thought we sent him right on his way," Gardenhire said. "I thought he learned a lot with us. Gomez was a lot of fun. I think everybody knew it from the time he was with the Mets, how much talent he had, if he could ever harness it and calm himself down enough.
"You never want to take away a guy playing the game with the enthusiasm that he plays it with, but some of the things he had to clean up. It sounds like he has. He got down to understanding what he's about as a player, and with all the ability that's a dangerous thing. He can do some damage. He can swing it, he's got a cannon, he can run. He's got all the tools. It's just a matter of harnessing it all and putting it to work in the right way."
Gomez batted .248 with a .293 on-base percentage in his two seasons with the Twins before that team traded him to the Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy. It was not until 2012 that Gomez began to get the most of his raw ability, resulting in a career-best .305 on-base percentage last year and a three-year contract extension this spring.
In Minnesota, the Twins tried to help Gomez harness his energy.
"I didn't agree with it, but they thought it was best for me at the time," Gomez said. "I still have respect for the manager, the coaches. Every time I see them, I tip my cap. Ron always talked to me like a son. It's fun and exciting to always play against your ex-teammates."
Four years ago, "he was loose cannon, No. 1," Gardenhire said. "I liked how he used to fake bunt. He'd tell us he was going to draw the guy in, the third baseman in. The third baseman was already in for the bunt. We said, 'Go-Go, you don't need to fake bunt and draw him in, he's already standing in there.' So then he would fake bunt, fake swing, fake bunt, all on one pitch. That's what we loved about him."
Aware that Gomez gets amped-up to play the Twins, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke spent some time Monday mulling where to place him in the lineup. Roenicke's hand was forced when Ryan Braun was sidelined by a right thumb injury and third baseman Aramis Ramirez needed the day to rest his balky right knee.
"Carlos doesn't have bad feelings toward that club," Roenicke said. "It's, 'Hey, I want to show them how far I've come."
Is there more to come?
"If there's more than what he's doing right now," Roenicke said. "You're talking about a superstar. He's playing great. Defense is good, he's stealing bases for us. The offensive part has been the biggest improvement, obviously. Everybody knew the other stuff was there, but it was the discipline at the plate, trying to be consistent. Now, whether he can do this the whole year, I don't know. He's a way tougher out now than he's ever been."
Ramirez switches stance on concussion
MILWAUKEE -- Twins outfielder Wilkin Ramirez had a bit of apologizing to do Monday.
On Sunday, Ramirez was upset with manager Ron Gardenhire for placing him on the seven-day disabled list after team doctors said he had sustained a concussion. But after throwing up on the airplane ride to Milwaukee, Ramirez realized he made a mistake.
The Twins called up catcher Chris Herrmann from Triple-A Rochester to take Ramirez's roster spot.
"I guess the doctor was right," said Ramirez, who vomited once about 20 minutes into the plane ride. "I started to throw up and feel weird. Right now I don't feel very good. I have a headache, last night, too."
According to Gardenhire, team doctors sent paperwork in on Sunday showing that Ramirez had failed concussion tests, even though the outfielder felt fine.
"I got yelled at; everybody got yelled at," Gardenhire said. "But when he got sick on the airplane, he realized the doctor was right. Shocker."
Ramirez, who will have more tests Monday, said he would watch the Twins open their two-game series with the Brewers from the dugout at Miller Park but would not do any baseball-related activities.
It was the outfielder's second concussion, the first coming at just 12 years old while in the Dominican Republic. Ramirez said he and his brother, Rafael, were playing baseball when a fight broke out and a rock hit him in the back of the head. Ramirez was hospitalized for a month.
"I feel it in my stomach and a headache," Ramirez said. "I think I have to apologize for what I said yesterday, because I thought I was fine. That's why he's a doctor."
Herrmann's addition gives Gardenhire options
MILWUAKEE -- The Twins promoted catcher Chris Herrmann on Sunday to take the roster spot of outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said adding Herrmann provided options for defensive substitutions or pinch-running situations late in the games.
"It makes it easier to put [Ryan] Doumit out in the outfield ... and not worry about not having a third catcher to pinch-run for him," Gardenhire said. "This just makes it a little easier having a guy as versatile as [Herrmann], because you can do all those things."
Herrmann was hitting .238 with five doubles, 12 RBIs, 16 walks and 17 runs scored in 43 games at Rochester. He hit safely in six of his final seven games.
The left-handed hitter was a sixth-round Draft pick of the Twins out of the University of Miami in 2009 and made his Major League debut and appeared in seven games for Minnesota last season.
• Trevor Plouffe is expected to return from the seven-day concussion list for Wednesday's game against the Brewers in Minnesota.
Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.