In preparation for the two upcoming series against the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, both to be played in American League ballparks, the Brewers have made two roster moves, calling up 1B Mat Gamel and RP Zach Braddock. To make room on the 25-man roster, Sergio Mitre was designated for assignment and Mark DiFelice was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville.
One would imagine Mat Gamel will get the starts at DH, certainly against right-handed pitching, with a possibility that he spells Prince Fielder at first base with Fielder moving to the DH spot as well. There’s even an outside chance that Gamel gets a game in left field, allowing Ryan Braun to DH, but chances are Gamel will be limited to 1B and DH while he is up in the majors.
Gamel’s .322/.382/.571 line for Triple-A Nashville is very impressive, but it’s important to remember the environment of the Pacific Coast League. As impressive as that line looks — it would rank only behind Fielder and Braun on the Brewers — in the Pacific Coast League, that’s only a slightly above-average line for a first baseman. Nashville does play as a bit of a pitcher’s park, but still, there’s a reason Gamel’s projections peg him for a roughly .260/.340/.430 overall batting line. That would be the best among our bench hitters, but Gamel’s lack of positional flexibility greatly hurts. Luckily, that doesn’t matter in the American League.
Zach Braddock’s arrival gives the Brewers a left-handed option out of the bullpen again. Pitching against lefties will be especially key against the Yankees. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano all hit lefthanded. Roenicke also shouldn’t be afraid to use Braddock against New York’s switch hitters, including Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Jorge Posada.