Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nelson out, Gamel in

Rumors were all over the place last night when it broke that Mat Gamel had left AAA Nashville to head to Milwaukee.

It was assumed that Gamel would be called up and join the team for interleague as a DH, but that series isn’t for another week, so the move is a bit of a surprise.

There was speculation that Bill Hall was being traded. Late in last night’s game, JJ Hardy left with a headache (or, as GameDay called it, a “head injury”) fueling even more rumors about a trade.

Sadly for struggling Brad Nelson, it was nothing that exciting. Nelson was outrighted to Nashville (he’s out of options) and Gamel was called up.

Nelson hit .354 in Spring Training, earning himself a spot on the Opening Day roster. Sadly, he’s been 0-for-21 since then, sealing his fate.

Gamel, on the other hand, is taking the Prince Fielder route to a major league career. Similar to how the team eased Prince (then the top prospect) into the majors in 2004 with some DH appearances and a chance to pinch hit on occasion, Gamel is supposed to be in uniform for today’s noon start.

He’ll likely stick around for a week or so through the Twins series and then head back to Nashville in order to continue to get regular at-bats and work on not having so many errors.

Poor Brad Nelson. He used to be a Brewers top prospect. Picked just two rounds behind JJ Hardy in 2001, he’s languished in AAA while Hardy and many other Brewers farm guys made it to the majors.

After two solid years at Nashville and a Spring Training where it looked like he could do no wrong, it seemed like Nelson would be a solid bench player for Milwaukee. And while he is still hitting the ball out of the stadium during BP (reportedly six in a row to the second deck of the right field bleachers two days ago), he can’t seem to make it happen in game.

Because he’s out of options and has been outrighted once before, he actually has the choice of accepting the DFA or not. He told MLB that he was going to hang out in Milwaukee for a few days while he decides.

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