PHOENIX – Knee injuries kept Mat Gamel from ever noticing his total prospective for the Milwaukee Brewers.
This period, Gamel’s youthful brother, Ben, will get his option to fill an crucial function as the team’s top reserve outfielder.
Gamel came to the Brewers from the Seattle Mariners just before Christmas alongside with minor-league pitcher Noah Zavolas in trade for Domingo Santana, who developed into Milwaukee’s top pinch-hitter late final period but with no a lot more minor-league possibilities remaining ultimately essential to be moved.
With Keon Broxton also no extended in the photo, the 26-calendar year-outdated Gamel tasks as the top backup at each corner outfield positions with the potential to play heart as well.
“I feel we know a honest amount of money about Ben Gamel,” supervisor Craig Counsell mentioned. “We’re not going to inquire Ben to do nearly anything that he hasn’t been accustomed to undertaking. He’s a remaining-handed hitter and the significant issue is we imagined he match with our outfield group.
“We experience like he has capabilities and is a youthful hitter who’s nevertheless coming into his very own. Checks a good deal of containers, we feel, and a participant we seriously like and he’s at an age exactly where there’s nevertheless a lot more in there.”
Gamel has 268 video games of significant-league experience beneath his belt and put up respectable figures in 2017 when he played in 134 video games with 127 starts off in the outfield (82 in remaining and 45 in right). He strike .275 with 27 doubles, 11 residence operates and 59 operates batted in.
Previous period didn’t go as well for Gamel, who was sidelined by an indirect pressure coming out of spring education and then in August was demoted to the minors as Seattle tried to regulate an extra of expertise in its outfield. He finished with a line of .272/1/19 in 101 video games.
With the Brewers, Gamel will be predicted to back up Ryan Braun in remaining and Christian Yelich in right with possibilities to spell Lorenzo Cain in heart as well. He has played 35 innings in heart in the majors, all with the Mariners. Gamel broke into the majors with the New York Yankees in 2016.
“That’s one choice we may have to have to get a minimal a lot more data on,” Counsell mentioned. “When Lorenzo’s not participating in is it Ben, is it Christian?”
Among the occasional starts off and what must be a good deal of possibilities off the bench, Gamel is searching ahead to a fresh start. His brother, Mat, played 106 video games above parts of 5 seasons for the Brewers before a knee injury finished his career in the spring of 2013.
“Wherever I match in, no matter what I can do to help,” he mentioned. “I’m fired up participating in with these men, choosing their brains. They’ve carried out it at a significant amount for several years. I’m just content to be a aspect of it.
“You chat about getting a lot more reliable at-bats, I feel for a bench guy in the NL you’re going to see the industry a lot more. Everywhere they have to have me, I’m fired up for the option.”
Beyond Gamel, the Brewers will get outfield coverage from Eric Thames and Hernán Pérez with Cory Spangenberg and Tyler Saladino also getting appears there this spring as they test to receive a place on the opening-day roster with their flexibility.
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Pérez, who’s back for his fifth period in Milwaukee on a $2.5 million offer, continues his operate as one of the most functional gamers in the majors with the potential to protect any posture other than catcher.
He even pitched in three video games in 2018.
“What it accounts for is we know the unexpected is going to take place and you want to have a approach for the unexpected. It is baseball,” mentioned Counsell when talking about the price of positional flexibility.
“You have to hope injuries and wounded-checklist placements, and you want your crew to be as robust as it maybe can via people moments. That is depth.
“But it is the flexibility that seriously sort of raises the flooring when you do have injuries.”
Thames also will serve as Jesús Aguilar’s backup at initial base with Pérez furnishing coverage at 3rd base, shortstop and next.
Spangenberg and Saladino are each middle infielders by trade, and Spangenberg will help his inventory if he reveals he can back up at shortstop in addition to next and 3rd.
Manny Piña opened the spring as backup to Yasmani Grandal at catcher, with Erik Kratz 3rd in line.
By the figures
10 Pinch-strike homers strike by the Brewers in 2018, tops in the majors.
8 Total positions played by Hernán Pérez in 2018. The only one he didn’t play was catcher.
28 Inside of-the-park homers all-time for the Brewers following Tyler Saladino came off the bench to strike one on Could 14 at Arizona. It was one of two pinch-strike homers for him on the period, which tied Santana for the crew guide.
21 Pinch hits by Santana and Curtis Granderson in 2018, neither of whom are with the Brewers any more.
5 Pinch-strike RBI recorded by Ryan Braun in 2018, tied for the crew guide with Santana.