Carlos Gomez was back in the Astros' lineup for Tuesday night's AL wild-card game against the Yankees, batting sixth and playing centerfield, after missing the final series of the regular season with a strained intercostal muscle.
"He's bouncing around the clubhouse, ready to play," manager A.J. Hinch said before the game. "Obviously I have concerns just because he's not 100 percent. But in this moment, with this type of player, the importance of this game, this is the time to do it.
"But there's no doubt he can be an electrifying force in our lineup and on the field. And in this city and this ballpark, he'll have a ton of energy."
Gomez nearly was a member of the other New York team that is playing October baseball. A trade that would have sent Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers fell through before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline when the Mets had some second thoughts about Gomez's physical condition. A day later he was traded to the Astros.