Mark Sheldon reports:

I briefly talked to GM Walt Jocketty after a press conference about the Civil Rights Game and asked about Jonny Gomes. Jocketty said that he had not heard from Gomes’ people if he would report to Triple-A Louisville or opt for free agency, per the choice in his contract.

The Bats’ season begins on Thursday so I’m gathering that would be Gomes’ deadline.

With the lack of power this team has on the bench — heck, with the lack of any kind of hitter on the bench — it simply befuddles me that the Reds would take a chance on losing Gomes just to keep a 30-year-old never-was on the roster. All because the regular center fielder was sick.

Again, Gomes is no world-beater, but he’s demonstrably better than Darnell McDonald. Plus, Gomes is exactly what the Reds need — a little power off the bench from the right-hand side of the plate. This isn’t a decision that will be the difference between 90 wins and 72 wins, but I just can’t fathom what Walt Jocketty was thinking.

Now, if it were guaranteed that Gomes would accept the AAA assignment, it makes a little more sense. I still don’t agree with it, but I could understand Jocketty’s reasoning. As it has played out, however, I can’t understand the thinking.