Mat Gamel is, once again, tearing it up in the minors and Brewers fans are anxious to see him come to Milwaukee and save their favorite team from its early season slump.
To me, the notion of bringing up Gamel to play Third, even in a platoon, is ill-advised. We’ve been down this road with Ryan Braun and the results were a mixed bag. With the shaky nature of the pitching staff I think it does them no favors to put another defensive liability on the field.
Perhaps if the plan were to deal Prince Fielder for a pitcher and put Gamel at First I would be less skeptical. The team loses substantial power, but if Gamel is as productive in the majors as the minors — which is a significant “if” — the drop off should be manageable. Prince is already a minus defender, so replacing him with another poor defender shouldn’t be a further fall-off. Moreover, what they gain from dealing Fielder (assuming it is a front of the rotation pitcher) could make this an overall positive.
Of course, besides power, the team would be losing some chemistry and one of its leaders — I don’t know how that will play in the clubhouse or what sort of ripple effect might be caused — and replacing him with a young, untested player who has shown signs of immaturity. That is a concern to me, as well.
I suspect Gamel will be a good major leaguer, but right now I fear that he is just the latest shiny object being observed longingly from afar by a nervous fanbase.