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Gamel gets the call from Milwaukee and I’m surprised

May 14, 2009
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Mat Gamel

I was a little surprised that third baseman Matt Gamel was called up by the Milwaukee Brewers today from a perspective of pure performance in 2009 at this point.

[Note: Join in the conversation on BrewCrewBall’s web site.]

Why?

I’ve been attending most of the home games this year and have been following most away games pitch-by-pitch using gameday on the MILB.com web site. I have blogged 3-4 times everey day since the season began.  All to say, I have been watching the Sounds pretty carefully, with particular focus on Gamel, Escobar and Gillespie.

Are Gamel’s 2009 Triple-A stats impressive?  Certainly. When he was called up today he was batting .336 (40-for-119) with 11 doubles, eight home runs, and 31 RBIs in 33 games for Nashville.  His fielding has also improved greatly since committing seven errors in the first 13 games, and going errorless in 17 straight games.

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Gamel's last appearnce on the Sound's scoreboard before he was called up today.

But the Mat Gamel I watched from April 9th until May 3rd is not the same Gamel playing since May 3rd.   His offensive production started considerably trailing off when the Sounds started the May 4th road trip starting with Iowa.

On the most recent road series involving Iowa and Omaha (May 4th through May 11th) Gamel was essentially a non-factor offensively, going for a combined .218 batting average and knocking in just 3 runs.

In the first two games of the current home series against Reno, Gamel has gone just 2 for 7 and no RBIs.

So, in the past ten games (of his total 33 played in 2009) he has hit just 9 of 39, for a lackluster .230 average.

All of the numbers he put up, resulting in him leading in most of the offensive categories for Nashville, took place in the first 23 games when he was batting over .400 solidly.

Is anyone else for the Nashville Sounds playing more solid ball overall than Mat Gamel?

Yes.  Tony Gwynn (.310).

I’d also have to say that Hernan Iribarren (.324) has played better baseball (overall) than Gamel so far in 2009. Though Alcides Escobar’s bat is not impressive (.265), his fielding has been spectacular, and his steals (18) have been big reasons why the Sounds are winning.

And let’s not overlook Mike Burns (5-0) and Tim Dillard (5-1).

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Mat Gamel batted .230 in his last ten games before being called up to Milwaukee.

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