Macha: Gamel '09 could look like Fielder '05

How does a guy hit .354 in Spring Training and then go 0-for-21 to start the regular season? Brad Nelson would love to know the answer to that question.

The one-time Brewers top prospect will have to mull that riddle somewhere else beginning Thursday. The Brewers removed him from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple-A Nashville following a win over the Marlins in which Nelson didn’t appear, clearing a spot for third base prospect Mat Gamel.

Gamel will arrive from Nashville in time for Thursday’s series finale and will be used similarly to Prince Fielder when Fielder made his Major League debut in 2005. The Brewers play their first Interleague Series in Minnesota on May 22-24, and Gamel could serve as the designated hitter. Until then, he will probably be limited to pinch-hit duties.

“He may get a start, we’ll see,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, who paused when asked if he felt comfortable with playing Gamel at third base. “He’s had some errors down there, [eight] errors. I thought in Spring Training he wasn’t really terrible out there.

“The reports are that if he just has to react on the ball, he ends up making a good play. Most of his errors have been balls hit right at him and he has to think about what he’s going to do with the ball.”

Gamel might be returned to Triple-A after Interleague Play so he can continue to get regular at-bats.

“This guy is our top prospect, so I don’t have any plans to have him sitting on the bench,” Macha said.

Nelson, meanwhile, can reject his Triple-A assignment because this is his second outright. He has three days to decide, and Nelson said he will remain in Milwaukee in the meantime.

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