Another spring, another ill-timed injury for Brewers prospect Mat Gamel. The Brewers said Wednesday morning that Gamel has a strained muscle along his right rib-cage and would not participate in hitting drills for seven days.
Last year, Gamel might have made the Brewers’ Opening Day roster had he not suffered a minor tear to the “lat” muscle behind his right shoulder, an injury that ended up delaying the start of his Triple-A season. In 2009, Gamel missed time in camp with a sore throwing shoulder.
He called his current setback a minor one, and said he felt a tweak during batting practice on Tuesday. Gamel called the week off from hitting, “precautionary.”
As for his knack for spending Spring Training in the training room, he was at a loss.
“I don’t know what’s going on, bro,” Gamel said Wednesday morning. “It’s just ridiculous though. I mean, I don’t know. It’s just a spell of some bad luck.”
Bad luck at a particularly bad time, Gamel conceded.
“It’s killing me,” he said.
While he questions his spate of injuries, he doesn’t question whether his offseason regimen has anything to do with it. Gamel spent the winter at home with his wife and two young children.
“It’s not a matter of not working out. This is the most I’ve worked out in the offseason, so it’s definitely not that,” he said. “It’s not a lack of anything — not a lack of stretching, not a lack of working out.”
This spring, the Brewers intend to use Gamel at a variety of positions and evaluate him for a spot on the bench. He’s primarily a third baseman, but is expected to also see action at first base and in the outfield corners.
Gamel was able to take part in defensive drills Wednesday.
“If it’s bugging him, we’ll back off the throwing,” manager Ron Roenicke said “The intercostals and the obliques, both of them, you can’t mess around. I know it’s a small area and they are little fibers that tear, but they can last a long time.”