The Brewers are holding young first baseman Mat Gamel out of drills this afternoon — just 24 hours after he aggravated his surgically-repaired right knee while taking batting practice. But there is some optimism about the situation around camp.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy that Gamel could return to his normal spring routine on Monday. Which means that the team has already ruled out anything serious.
“[Saturday’s setback was] unexpected just because he’s gone through this period of time where he really hasn’t has any issues with it,” Roenicke said. “But probably not unexpected because it is different once you get on the field and now you’re doing different exercises. You’re doing different things on the knee that you’re not doing in a controlled environment.”
Gamel, 27, will open the 2013 season as the Brewers’ starting first baseman if he is healthy.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.