Mat Gamel's long road back may move through the Arizona Fall League (Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE)

Gamel To Fall League?


Maybe. That is the less than official word coming from Milwaukee’s front office today, via Adam McCalvy’s blog.

The Milwaukee Brewers recently announced their Arizona Fall League roster, and one of the spots designated to Milwaukee prospects was left “TBA.”

According to McCalvy, the team is waiting to hear how Gamel’s rehabilitation process is going as he tries to get back to playing shape after tearing his ACL early in the season.

Team officials say that Mat Gamel is well on his way to a clean recovery – so much so that he is expected to return to baseball activity sometime in September, and may even be cleared to travel with the team on its final road trip for the 2012 season. That’s encouraging news, to say the least, for the first baseman that many people thought would be replacing some of the power left by Prince Fielder‘s departure.

While he may fine to travel with the team, that is a far shot from being able to make a difference on the club. That’s where the Arizona Fall League comes in. Traditionally, roster spots are used for Minor League Prospects, and other farm system players who need extra reps due to injury. There is very little evidence of players on Major League clubs heading to the Arizona Fall League after having come up for a significant time.

The Milwaukee Brewers will need to ask for an exception to allow Gamel to play on the Phoenix Desert Dogs because he has had more Major League experience than Fall League officials generally allow. There is no official word yet on how hard the Brewers are pursuing this option, but the wording of McCalvy’s article seems to suggest that it is not only a possibility, but closer to certainty.

Gamel went .246/.293/.348 in 21 games with Milwaukee before suffering an injury on the first of May that eventually sidelined him for the entire 2012 season. He drove in six runs and hit one home run.

If he does get the spot in Arizona this fall, it would be a great chance for Brewers coaches to see just how well he is coming back from injury, and possibly could showcase him to other clubs if the team decides to move him in favor of Corey Hart keeping regular first base duties. If he doesn’t make it, Milwaukee Brewers sources told McCalvy that they have another player in mind for the squad, but of course they aren’t telling yet.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

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