FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins center fielder Carlos Gomez isn't about to let anything get in his way of a starting job, even if he already has the position locked up. Despite leaving Wednesday's game against the Rays in the fifth inning with a cramp in his left hamstring, Gomez said afterward that he was determined to play in each of the Twins' final three Spring Training games. "I'm ready 100 percent right now," Gomez said. "If I'm here, I want to play."
The injury occurred while Gomez was running down a fly ball in deep left-center field off the bat of Rays outfielder John Weber, the first batter of the inning. After the play, Gomez remained in the same spot where he caught the ball, hunched over and clutching his leg. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Rick McWane ran out to check on Gomez and immediately pulled him from the game. Gomez was able to walk off the field, but he had a slight limp and was still seen grabbing his leg. Nick Punto then replaced Gomez in center. Gomez said that he had started to feel a cramp coming when he was playing catch with right fielder Michael Cuddyer just before the start of the inning. He told Cuddyer about the cramp, and said his fellow outfielder asked him if he wanted to come out. Gomez greeted Cuddyer's inquiry with an emphatic, "No." The 22-year-old outfielder said he even tried to argue his way into staying in the game after the cramp flared up, although knew he couldn't once he tried to walk on the leg. Gomez has convinced his manager to let him start Thursday's contest in spite of the injury. "He came in and said he wants to go," Gardenhire said. "He said if he doesn't go tomorrow then 'You may think this and may think that,' so I said, 'Fine, you're going.' But I told him, 'You're in trouble, if [you hurt] that hamstring again.'" The center fielder said it's not the first time he's endured such a problem this spring, and his reasoning for the troubles is a tad unique. "I have a lot of cramps when I go home at night. I guess my body fat is just too low," Gomez said.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.