The Milwaukee Brewers made some position player additions to their playoff roster.
It’s been over a week since we last saw Ben Gamel play in a game for the Brewers. Trying to leg out a double during the last homestand, Gamel injured his quad and went on the IL.
Ben Gamel in 2020
Gamel got off to a hot start this season, especially through the first week of the season, but cooled down over the rest of the season, finishing the regular season with a .237/.315/.404 slash line with eight doubles, three home runs, and 10 RBIs.
After Lorenzo Cain opted out of the 2020 season, Gamel saw a huge increase in playing time, but unfortunately wasn’t able to take full advantage of his role down the stretch. He returned to a mostly bench role with players such as Mark Mathias or Jace Peterson seeing some of his usual starts in right field when Ryan Braun was unavailable to go out there.
Gamel has a 92 OPS+ this year, which is higher than his output from last season (85). He came to camp with a changed swing that has brought a little more power and extra base hit potential.
David Freitas For 3rd Catcher
The Brewers didn’t bring up David Freitas at all during the regular season this year, despite his success in the minors last year and at the alternate training site this year. When Manny Pina went down with his knee injury, the Brewers opted to call up the prospect Jacob Nottingham.
Without Pina, the Brewers catching corps has been lacking offensively. Nottingham has some power, but also has just a .188/.278/.458 slash line with 20 strikeouts in 48 at-bats. Omar Narvaez has also been a disappointment, hitting just .176/.294/.269 with 39 strikeouts in 108 at-bats.
Offensively, it’s been bad for the Brewers and Freitas was the 2019 Triple-A batting champ. However, Freitas also struggled in the big leagues when called up in September last year, with just one hit in 13 at-bats.
With a third catcher on the roster, the Brewers will have more flexibility in terms of pinch hitting or pinch running for their catchers.
The Brewers roster is heavy on the hitters for this Wild Card series, and part of that is due to injuries to the pitching staff. With Corbin Burnes, Devin Williams, and Brett Anderson unable to make the roster because of injury, that allowed guys like Freitas and Gamel to take some spots to possibly provide some offense.
Meanwhile, the Brewers will stick with the rest of the trusted guys on their pitching staff instead of going with one of the arms from the alternate site.