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In one of your fantasy baseball drafts, did you take a chance on Mat Gamel? A respectable start - .246/.293/.348, with 10 runs, six RBIs and three stolen bases - probably gave you hope that this would the year the Milwaukee Brewers would give him enough playing time to let him sink or swim, definitively.
Apologies. Sometimes, life isn't fair.
Tom Haudricourt shared Doug Melvin's confirmation: Gamel has a torn ACL in his right knee. He's going under the knife and will probably miss the remainder this campaign. The swelling must subside before anyone can operate or assess the extent of the damage.
Brooks Conrad is coming up from Triple-A Nashville, but he's a utility infielder who offers nothing substantial on offense. Milwaukee, without the departed Prince Fielder and now Gamel, will be searching for ways to field an optimal lineup. That likely involves the occasional - perhaps even frequent - employment of Corey Hart at first base.
Travis Ishikawa may get a chance to prove that he deserves to platoon at first base. His .185/.214/.444 slash line leaves something to be desired, but it points to evidence of his pop. He's worth a shot in an NL format. With more regular at-bats, perhaps he'll get going and provide something along the lines of what he did in his 2009 stretch with the San Francisco Giants: a .261 BA with nine homers, 39 RBIs, 49 runs and a couple of thefts in 363 plate appearances.
Ishikawa, 28, isn't a sure thing, naturally, though. Logical arrangements are likely to involve Hart at first somewhat often. The Brewers have some outfield depth and could deploy a mixture of Carlos Gomez (right-), Nyjer Morgan (left-) and Norichika Aoki (left-), depending on the matchup, alongside Ryan Braun in left.
Gomez is off to a hot start, but roto players have seen it before. He remains undisciplined and isn't a good bet to remain above .300 in the BA department, despite his occasional power and frequent speed offerings. This could be a saving grace for the speedy Morgan, who was off to a terrible start but should rebound, assuming he's much less in danger of losing PT. Aoki has been acceptable as a fifth outfielder and could play enough to have value in NL leagues now. Morgan can still be a deep-mixed league asset, and Gomez does if he keeps playing at this level.
The Brewers could call on other minor leaguers. Taylor Green could play at first, second or third. He's off to a slow start for the Sounds but had a breakthrough 2011 and would warrant immediate NL attention. If Hart became a regular at first, the club would likely add to its outfield depth with Logan Schafer or Caleb Gindl, although it's unclear how much either would play.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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