Should the Brewers Gamble on Gamel?

Mat Gamel was re-called from Triple-A by Milwaukee to DH during some interleague games this week.  He certainly deserves the opportunity, hitting a robust .321/.380/.577 with 21 2B, 18 HR, and 58 RBI in 76 games.  Gamel has been around for what seems like forever, yet, he is still just 25-years-old (he turns 26 in July).  He has struggled in his small sample in the Bigs, receiving just 145 AB since 2008, going .241/.329/.413 with 8 2B, 5 HR, and a 63/19 K/BB.

Certainly, Gamel has had his struggles in his small sample, but what do the Brewers have to lose in moving Gamel to 3B to platoon with Casey McGehee?  He came up as a 3B, though it was ugly at times (just an .887 fielding percentage), but McGehee has been awful this season, posting a .227/.280/.316 line; however, from 2008-2010, Casey was mighty against lefties, hitting .306/.368/.533 against lefties.  He has struggled against them this season (.188/.232/.188), but the Brewers need to see what they have in Gamel beyond DH at bats in case he ends up at 1B when Prince Fielder leaves after the season.

Gamel has been punishing Minor League pitching since he began full-season ball in 2006.  He has an overall line of .304/.376/.501 while mashing 166 2B and 89 HR over 2413 AB.  Gamel is hitting just .225/.296/.382 versus left-handers this season, so this is why I am calling for a platoon.  He turns 26 in about a month, he has been killing pitching in the Minors for years, he hasn’t been given a shot at an everyday job EVER, and you are going to be losing your star at a position that he has done quite well at in the Minors.  This is a way to figure out what you have without really losing a whole lot.  Can he be much worse than McGehee has been this year?  Maybe he can, but he needs to have a chance to fail.  The guy is still a rookie since he hasn’t had 150 at bats yet, so he needs to get rid of that, if nothing else.  The Brewers went all in when the traded for Marcum and Greinke, and they need to go all in with Gamel, even with his potential defensive short-comings, just to get his bat in the lineup.


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