Anyelo Gomez doesn’t fear competition.
The flame-throwing reliever has made three appearances this spring, striking out four and holding the opponent scoreless in each outing.
And he believes come opening day, he’ll be in the Braves bullpen.
“I have confidence that I’ll hopefully make the roster,” he said through an interpreter. “Hopefully I’ll stay healthy. As long as I stay healthy, I’m confident I’ll make the roster.”
Gomez, 24, joined the Braves from the Yankees in December’s Rule 5 draft. He possesses daunting strikeout potential with a fastball sitting in the mid-90s that’s topped out at 98 in the last week.
“I’ve been impressed,” manager Brian Snitker said Monday. “I really like that kid. He’s got a good arm.”
Gomez had a 1.92 ERA and 87 strikeouts in the minors last season. But the Yankees’ loss could prove to be the Braves’ gain.
“We like Gomez, good arm,” Braves assistant general manager Perry Minasian said after selecting Gomez in the Rule 5 draft. “One of our major league scouts, Rick Williams, saw him multiple times in the Dominican, really liked what he saw. Plus fastball with a change-up – that plays. He’s got a chance to be a quality reliever. We’ll see how it looks in spring training.”
Gomez said he’s keeping the same routine he had with New York. As long as his arm’s feeling good, he isn’t concerning himself with the Braves’ pitching surplus.
“I just try to focus on pitching and the things I have to do in my routine,” he said. “All the other things I try not to focus on. Just show up and get it done.”
As Rule 5 picks mandate, Gomez must be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000 if he doesn’t remain on the Braves’ 25-man roster the entire season. Gomez is one of two Rule 5 picks who could be in the bullpen, joining Dan Winkler.