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Andy Behrens

Mat Gamel gets the call

Andy Behrens
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The Milwaukee Brewers have an interleague series at Minnesota next weekend, so they've called up the organization's best DH, Mat Gamel(notes).

The 23-year-old was hitting .336/.428/.647 with eight homers and 20 extra-base hits in 119 at-bats for Triple-A Nashville. Gamel is a defensively challenged third baseman (eight errors in '09, 32 in '08), but there's never been much doubt about his bat. He hit .325/.392/.532 across two levels last year.

Fielding issues aside, he seems like an almost ideal platoon partner for Bill Hall(notes), a career .248/.301/.437 hitter against right-handers. (Actually, when you consider the fact that Gamel is crushing lefties this year -- 1.465 OPS in 46 plate appearances -- he seems like an ideal permanent replacement for Hall). Ken Macha doesn't sound like he intends to give Gamel too many opportunities prior to interleague play, however.

This from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"He'll probably get some pinch-hits, get acclimated a little bit to the big leagues," said manager Ken Macha. "He may get a start. We'll see how that all plays out."

The Brewers' general manager is on board with that approach, too:

"Our pinch-hitters are barely batting .100," said [Doug] Melvin. "We can't keep doing that. We're going into St. Louis this weekend, a big series.

"Instead of bringing Gamel in when we get to Minnesota, we thought while we're going on this road trip it's a good time to get his feet wet. I didn't give Ken any orders. He doesn't have to play him (before interleague play)."

Gamel should be rostered and started in the upcoming road series against the Twins, and he'll get six more games at DH in Week 11 (at CLE, at DET). He's a nice speculative add in any format, given the obvious talent and opportunity. He'll be a high-maintenance fantasy commodity for a little while, though, because playing time isn't guaranteed.

Still, you want him.

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