Getting to Know: Rolando Gomez
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Travelers’ shortstop Rolando Gomez was drafted by the Angels in 2008 in the 11th round from Flanagan High School (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), the Miami area. After missing most of the 2009 with a wrist injury, Gomez spent the last three seasons in A ball before joining the Travs this season.
What was behind your decision to sign out of high school instead of going to college?
I wanted to get into a system right away and go for it. I’m a small ball player, and they liked that along with my work ethic.
Is there a difference between playing in the A club systems and being in AA?
The only difference is the games go by quicker and routine plays are made more. I had to get used to the speed of the game in my head. It’s been great, and I learned a lot this year. I’ve learned more from Bogie (Tim Bogar, manager) than I have before.
You played football until your freshman year when tore your ACL and meniscus in your knee. How did that injury affect you and what made you decide to go with baseball?
I’m a small guy so I wasn’t going anywhere in baseball. (On the injury) I thought there goes my career.
Your injury actually helped you with two other injuries in your career.
Yes after four games my first year, I tore my TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) in my wrist and missed the whole season. Last year, I fractured my thumb and missed two months. It’s been up and down. I went through that my freshman year, and my mentality is to come back and bounce back.
Last Saturday in a 6-2 victory after losing two games the night before to the Springfield Cardinals, Bogar switched up the lineup. Instead of batting ninth, you moved to the leadoff hitter. What was that like?
I loved it. It is completely different and almost like you control the game. It’s a big responsibility.
What do you do for fun?
In the off-season I spend a lot of time with my family and do a lot of deep sea fishing. Some of the fish I fish for are mackerel, tuna and dolphin—a type of mahi mahi. We mainly use live bait of either mullets or sardines.
Most memorable catch?
I caught a 42 pound mahi mahi. But, I threw it back because I don’t eat fish. I will eat crab, shrimp and lobster but not fish.
What do like about playing shortstop?
I like being more involved in the game. Bogie has helped me a lot. He has taught me how to cut down the angles and get a better route to the ball which can save my arm. He has been the best help and has a way of explaining things to me.
What are your goals?
Honestly, I want a good on-base percentage and help the team win. I want to be committed to my fielding and help the pitcher out.