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'El Titere' has had nickname since age 16

Rangers outfielder Gomez hopes to be activated for Players Weekend
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

OAKLAND -- Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez is hoping to be activated off the disabled list Saturday, just in time for Players Weekend.

Gomez has been sidelined with a cyst on the back of his right shoulder, but is eligible to return Saturday. It will allow him to wear his jersey with "El Titere" on the back.

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OAKLAND -- Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez is hoping to be activated off the disabled list Saturday, just in time for Players Weekend.

Gomez has been sidelined with a cyst on the back of his right shoulder, but is eligible to return Saturday. It will allow him to wear his jersey with "El Titere" on the back.

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That is Spanish for "The Puppet," a nickname Gomez earned when he was 16 years old and playing in the Dominican Summer League after first signing with the Mets.

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"We were in the Dominican and there was this lady from Puerto Rico," Gomez said. "She was about 50 years old. She asked me for some directions, but I didn't know where it was. We were in Santo Domingo and I was from Santiago. I didn't know where anything was. I asked my teammates and they told her.

"So, she said she wished she could have a puppet just like me so she could pull the strings and [have it] do something for her. So, all my teammates started calling me 'El Titere.' The Puppet."

Beats "Go-go," which is what he has been called by American teammates.

"I have had a lot of nicknames," Gomez said.

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He will also wear "Carlos Gomez" on his patch. That is a tribute to his father, Carlos Gomez Sr.

"He is the guy I owe everything for being who I am," Gomez said. "He wanted to be a baseball player, but he didn't have the body or the physical ability to play, so God blessed him with a big strong son and everything I do on the field is because of him."

All of this is contingent on Gomez being activated off the disabled list, but he appears ready to go.

"That's the plan," Gomez said. "We'll see after today. I hit the last few days, today I am going to hit again. Yesterday I swung really hard and there was only a little bit of blood, nothing concerning. It's not painful."

Gomez has not played since developing the cyst during a hot day game on Aug. 13. He was placed on the disabled list Aug. 19, retroactive to Aug. 16, after having an excision procedure to have the cyst drained.

Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers will see how Gomez makes it through Friday's workout and then make a final decision before Saturday's game.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Carlos Gomez