Escobar high on Braves new Cuban OF signee

Miami – The Braves might not be sure yet what they have in newly-signed 30-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasser Gomez, but shortstop Yunel Escobar does.

Escobar, 27, said Thursday he has been friends with Gomez since he was 8-years old and roomed with him every year that they both played for the Cuban national team.

“He was the best player on the team,” Escobar said through an interpreter. “A lot of talent with the bat.”

Gomez started in center field on the 2000 Cuban Olympic team in Sydney. Escobar compared him to Boston left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, a .295 hitter in his fourth season with the Red Sox.

Gomez defected from Cuba in 2008 through Mexico to California. He traveled to New York and ultimately to Miami, where he lived with Escobar. He’s now in the Dominican Republic where he hit .311 in winter ball there this past winter.

Escobar said Gomez told him now, looking back, he wish he had defected sooner.

“If he would have listened to me, he would have been here many years before,” said Escobar, who defected from Cuba in 2004 at age 21.

The Braves signed Gomez for $20,000. The club hasn’t yet secured a visa for him to get back to the United States, nor decided where he will play. The Braves are thin in the outfield in Triple-A Gwinnett after both Brent Clevlen (now on the disabled list with a sprained big toe) and Gregor Blanco recently called up to Atlanta to fill in for the injured Matt Diaz.

43 comments Add your comment

Jerry Willard

May 27th, 2010
6:35 pm

Move over Schafer! FIRST…

Face!

james

May 27th, 2010
6:40 pm

I just hope we some outfielders not named Jason Heyward to hit the dang ball.
Maybe Ron Gant can come down and show them a thing or two.
Just don’t let him show them any dirtbike tricks

Steve

May 27th, 2010
6:45 pm

Jerry, nobody cares if you are First, I assure you. You people need to get a life. Regarding MARTA, what would happen to fans who don’t drive to the game? I always drive but I would guess with the legal, and illegal lots, there are maybe only 25,000? What a mess that would be. Sucks that the city of Atlanta is so bad at running things.

southern hope

May 27th, 2010
6:49 pm

when you say “signed him for $20,000″ do you mean that is literally his salary? Or some signing bonus? just wondering about the finances here…

southern hope

May 27th, 2010
6:49 pm

Steve, I care that Jerry is first.

Willy

May 27th, 2010
6:51 pm

Some of the other blogs are reporting he’s quick and hits for average but has no power, a leadoff hitter.

Tallcarl

May 27th, 2010
6:55 pm

Too funny James, too funny. Thanks I needed a chuckle. I have been wondering for a long time why Atlanta ignores the Cubans. By the way make sure to give him a map of Atlanta in Spanish or maybe Pascal for a guide.

jeffro

May 27th, 2010
7:10 pm

sounds like steve is a sore loser? it’s all fun and games.

ace

May 27th, 2010
7:14 pm

?maybe he can fill the critical “friend to yunel” role vacated by brayan pena. yunel is better and more grounded with a buddy around, silly as that seems. Carrol – did the Braves talk with Yunel about him before signing him?

Joey M

May 27th, 2010
7:58 pm

I hope this guy pans out. It is not a huge investment. (Although I would love to get pain $20k to play baseball again) Since he is in his 30’s he should be seasoned enough to make the jump this year and hopefully he can help the big club. (I noticed this is the 2nd Cuban we have signed in the last couple of months. The SS we got. Is this a trend or coincidence?)

nick

May 27th, 2010
7:58 pm

i care that jerry is first, way to go jerry.
if this guy is like Ellsbury, then we are set at leadoff

Michael Procton

May 27th, 2010
8:22 pm

Southern, that $20K is the signing bonus. He’ll earn standard pay in the minors and the minimum in the bigs.

Billy O

May 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

Send him to Gwinnett and see what he can do. If he can play then bring him up!!

Don

May 27th, 2010
9:29 pm

The MARTA cut backs are a way to get attention via putting out false notions of what is “Planned” to cut. It is exactly the same thing that the previous mayor was famous for, when cuts were needed and she did not want to make them, the fire and police were the “targets”. They will of course have them on the cutting block to try to get non-metro support for the transit authority. However, even the Gold Dome crew see rigth through this pitiful ruse and will not cave in. Then they will find money at the last minute to keep one of their only money making routes open.

Fidel Castro's beard

May 27th, 2010
9:56 pm

I want my cut, Gomez. Also, see if you can work on reopening trade with Cuba so I can make some money off of all these cigars. Hasta Lavista, Senor

Lil' Barry Bailout

May 27th, 2010
10:10 pm

Idiot Messiah

May 27th, 2010
10:11 pm

annoying

May 27th, 2010
11:50 pm

I agree with you James

Troy Glaus

May 28th, 2010
6:50 am

If he doesnt speak English he can stay the HELL out. Where are his papers. How dare he flee a communist nation in search of a better life. Is he a US citizen? He needs to be deported NOW !!!

Just kidding. That only applies to the unskilled people who dont entertain us right. They just pick our fruit and cut our grass. Those are the bad ones right. Wink Wink.

Steven Lemon

May 28th, 2010
7:19 am

All this useless dribble about wh is FIRST? I think it is about time for SOMEBODY’S MOM to use that basement for something else besides a son who obviously has no life.

Shadetree

May 28th, 2010
7:36 am

Mom, please bring some more orange juice. Oh and I left my copy of Caddyshack in Dads VCR. Will you bring that too.

Your Son
Shadetree

FIRST!!!!!!

coach smith

May 28th, 2010
8:50 am

I am loving this season but next year I would love to see one of these guys be manager

Freddie Gonzales
Eddie Perez

Hitting coach = RON GANT

Angus

May 28th, 2010
9:10 am

Don @ 9:29, are you the Don that hates all things Bobby Cox?

Your MARTA post is reasonable and lucid.

Steven Sucks Balls

May 28th, 2010
9:14 am

Bernard Hilton

May 28th, 2010
9:19 am

Cabrera and Escdobar look like they are coming around.. If so, the Phillies might have more than they can handle. Braves do need another OF . If Gomez gets his visa soon………you don’t know……. If he can field and run and hit at least 270 wse have our leadoff man!!!!!.

LJ

May 28th, 2010
10:09 am

Hey, Steve lighten up, if you can’t have fun, it is going to be a long, dull life.

Lank

May 28th, 2010
10:23 am

Does Yunel know everyone that lives in Cuba? o.O

jimmymcguffey

May 28th, 2010
11:53 am

if he hit,s for power and can play left the braves have an opening

BraveMan

May 28th, 2010
11:53 am

idiot messiah,

great point!

GTSteve

May 28th, 2010
12:06 pm

ace

May 27th, 2010
7:14 pm

I agree with that, he does seem to play better with a buddy on the team, look at his average since Blanco was called up…

Chuck

May 28th, 2010
4:31 pm

What does ops stand for?

enick755

May 28th, 2010
5:17 pm

Hey James, I was just thinking, why don’t we put Ron Gant in TP’s place as hitting coach next year?

The Dude

May 28th, 2010
6:33 pm

Troy, you’re an idiot. The debate is not whether those from other countries can come to the U.S., it’s if they do it legally. In the article, it said that this guy has not made it here yet because the Braves are trying to secure a visa…which is the legal way of doing it.

The Dude

May 28th, 2010
6:34 pm

rico43

May 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Ron. We’ll talk about your qualifications when you come clean about steroids.

steven

May 28th, 2010
8:05 pm

Well, it seems to be easier for those who entertain us to get a visa that for those who pick our fruit and fix the roof. I am glad we have Escobar thogh.

Quint, in ATL

May 28th, 2010
8:12 pm

Get that visa and let’s see what he can do.

OK, a lot of you guys say start him at AAA. But wouldn’t the Braves want to start him lower and see how fast he can make through the system? I’m not saying he should be in Danville, but why not Rome or Myrtle Beach? At least then he has paid some dues. Not many, but some.

And…would you guys be willing to package Gomez and somebody for a better center fielder? What happens to Schaffer and McLouth? I’m not sure who is out there and available or whether ANYBODY would take McLouth, though he has been a very solid center fielder. What about McCutchen from Pittsburgh? (Yeah, I doubt another McName from Pitt would be available and he his too young for them to give up, with all his upside…just wishful thinking, I guess). Lastings Milledge?

What do you guys say…you are all more expert than I am.

Brad Komminsk

May 28th, 2010
9:38 pm

Hey Bobby,got a spot 4 me? I finally got that darn breakin’ ball solved.Only took me 2 decades…

Bubba Joe

May 29th, 2010
7:01 am

Alibi Ike

May 29th, 2010
8:20 am

Blue skies

May 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Im totally on board the Yunel needs a buddy theory. So much so that I think the Clevlen injury was faked so the Braves could pull Blanco up to hold his hand. Can’t complain with the results!

James

May 29th, 2010
3:47 pm

Gant on steroids???? Come on man, that was all karate.

I think TP needs to be our bench coach. He was a great hitter, and thats what I feel disqualifies him from being a good hitting coach. A hitting coach needs to know how to correct swings when things aren’t working. TP is natural and never really had to adjust his swing. In my opinion, a Gant type of player would fit well as a hitting coach.
Eddie Perez is the best choice in my opinion to replace Bobby. He is from inside the organization and the players all respect him. I wouldn’t mind having Ned Yost though.

Yogi2

May 29th, 2010
5:27 pm

Shafer is batting average is about.175. we definitely need help in Gwinnett. Send Shafer to Danville and keep GOMEZ and MCLouth in Gwinnett

Add your comment