Oblique strain shuts down Mat Gamel for at least one week

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For the second straight season a spring training injury has put Brewers prospect Mat Gamel’s chances of cracking the Opening Day roster in jeopardy.

Last spring a shoulder injury caused Gamel to begin the season on the disabled list and he ended up spending nearly the entire year at Triple-A, getting just 15 at-bats with the Brewers.

This time around he has a strained oblique muscle and the Brewers will shut him down for at least seven days and perhaps significantly longer given how much that type of injury tends to linger.

If healthy Gamel is expected to serve as a utility man this season, drawing starts at the infield and outfield corners while trying to show that he’s capable of stepping into the lineup full time at first base next season if/when Prince Fielder departs via trade or free agency.

Gamel has consistently posted strong numbers at Triple-A and held his own in a 61-game stint with the Brewers in 2009, but his shaky defense at third base caused him to fall behind Casey McGehee on the depth chart and Fielder’s presence across the diamond along with Ryan Braun and Corey Hart being entrenched in the outfield corners has left the 25-year-old former top prospect without an obvious spot in the lineup.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.