Mat 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
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.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.