Gamel out at least six weeks with shoulder injury

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Gat Gamel headshot.jpgMat Gamel was already likely facing a demotion to start the season, but according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, he’ll now spend at least six weeks recovering from a “slight” tear in his latissimus dorsi, the large muscle behind the right
shoulder.

Gamel originally suffered the injury early in camp, but he probably made it worse by returning to action too soon. Keep in mind that while he’ll be sidelined from baseball activity for six weeks, the timeline for him to return to game action will likely be longer.

“Then he has to get ready for games from there, so we could be talking
about closer to eight to nine weeks total before he’s 100 percent,”
Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said.

It’s a tough blow for Gamel, who similarly missed out an opportunity to impress the Brewers last spring due to a shoulder impingement. The 24-year-old started last season in the minors and was pretty underwhelming upon a promotion in May, batting just .242/.338/.422 with five homers and 20 RBI in 128 at-bats.

Because his bat has been considered more of an asset than his glove, the question has always been where he’ll fit in on defense. For now, Casey McGehee has the starting third base job in Milwaukee, blocking his path to the major leagues. Perhaps when Gamel returns, the Brewers will begin to entertain the idea of transitioning him to the outfield.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.