Posted by Steve
For the third consecutive season, one of the best hitters in the Brewer organization will not be on the major league team. They have once again optioned Mat Gamel to AAA. Frankly, I can’t believe he still has options left.
They’re moving him to first base, which is a clear sign that they want him there after Prince Fielder leaves next season. I can’t say that I’m pleased. The best position for Gamel would have been third base. I hate Casey McGehee’s “stuck in the mud” range there, and Gamel is much more athletic over at third. Gamel’s bat is great at third, but it’s just okay at first base. Unfortunately, it seems he just can’t nail down the footwork and throwing.
Still, he’s not my preferred replacement for Fielder. If it isn’t going to be McGehee, I’d have liked it to to be Ryan Braun. Braun is still terrible in left field, and I’d sure like to think Gamel couldn’t be any worse out there. The idea is to put your worst defenders at the easiest positions. Braun is the Brewers’ worst defender (after Fielder), and first base is the easiest position. I’d even be fine with moving Corey Hart there. Hart has regressed in right field as well, and he’d be a nice tall target at first–something the Brewers haven’t had since Fielder took over.
Ultimately, this still means the Brewers won’t have Gamel–their fifth or sixth best hitter–on their big league roster, while a terrible player like Mark Kotsay has a major league contract. Makes zero sense.