Gamel approves of move to 1B

He might not get to prove it during the Brewers’ weeklong run in American League ballparks, but Mat Gamel said his transition to first base has been a success.

“Honestly, it’s a lot less stressful,” he said Tuesday, after joining the Brewers for the first time this season, “I’m sure it’s less stressful for everybody.”

The Brewers recalled Gamel from Triple-A Nashville on Monday afternoon because they wanted the extra bat for road series against the Yankees and Twins, and Gamel was the team’s designated hitter at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Whether Gamel sees any action in the field this week, manager Ron Roenicke said, depends on whether Prince Fielder decides he wants to do any designated hitting himself.

“I enjoy first base,” Gamel said. “I’m a lot more comfortable over there than I ever was at third.”

Gamel began his professional career as a third baseman, but has always been a prospect because of his bat. He’s a career .304 hitter over parts of seven seasons in the Minor Leagues while playing third base, the outfield corners and now first base, and has been especially consistent this season after the Brewers’ moved him to first.

Fielder is a free agent after the season, and Gamel is the Brewers’ insurance at that position. General manager Doug Melvin said Tuesday that the club has no plans to move Gamel back to third base, where the big-league incumbent, Casey McGehee, is struggling to get on track this season.

“I like [first base] a lot, being involved, being able to pick-up teammates by picking balls out of the dirt,” Gamel said.

He joined the Brewers with a hot bat. Gamel was on an eight-game hitting streak at Nashville, with home runs in each of his last three games.

Entering Tuesday, he’d already made 167 Major League plate appearances over three seasons but has yet to break through as a big-league regular. Gamel will turn 26 on July 26 and is a father of two daughters, the youngest of whom was at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night with Gamel’s wife, Julianne.

Gamel said he does not waste time pondering the future.

“I’m definitely ready to be here for good,” Gamel said. “It’s a tough lineup to crack, especially with the positions that I play. You’ve got a lot of good players that are playing those positions. You just have to wait until it’s your time. …

“Especially with prince, that’s a guy you don’t want to see leave the organization. If you’re a Major League player, you’ll be there with somebody. I’m not thinking about [2012], I’m thinking about this year.”

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6 Comments

Fielder better not go anywhere!!!!! We love him here and we need him here. Plus what would I do with all my Fielder clothing?!?! Get rid of that manager he has and stay with the Brewers!!!!

Gamel continues to be the classic monor league star and major league bust. When it is a 12-2 loss he gets his hits when he comes up with men on in a close game it’s a strikeout. The Brewer announcers and front office praise this guy yet he has shown nothing when given the chance to perform. I want Gamel to do something to make me like him, so far nothing but minor league numbers.

Scott Boras wont let Prince stay here no matter how much he wants to. Gamel will be next year’s starting First Baseman, pending an offseason trade or FA pickup (Pujols anybody?)

Gamel is a great player and will be something special..he just needs some time to get used to the bigs..i see him at sounds game and he is a leader and wants to win and is a real cool guy

My previous comments on Gamel stand. A minor league star and big league bust. He now is hitting .115 and really has hit the ball hard only once. He has more strikeouts than hits. I would rather see some of our pitchers pinch hit, after all most of them have a higher batting avg.

Are you saying he cant say soiemhtng based off the colour of his skin? Whos the racist now? Anyways we are all descendants from Africa. Also if you want racism to go away we have to practice equality either no one can say “ma Nigguh” or everyone can say it.

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