Gamel To Start at 3B for Braves Series
By By Jay Sorgi
Next game: Friday, June 5 at Atlanta
Three losses out of four in Miami against the Florida Marlins gives pause for thought.
For Brewers manager Ken Macha, two particular sets of failures that continued in Florida have given him pause for decisions.
One of them: replace third baseman Bill Hall full-time in the starting lineup with Mat Gamel, at least for the upcoming Atlanta Braves series.
To Macha, it's part of the response to Bill Hall's continual slump, batting .211 and averaging more than a strikeout per game for the season.
"We need one of the other candidates to step up a little bit," said Macha.
"Mat Gamel is going to be in the lineup tonight. I think I'm going to give him a little opportunity to jump in there and see how he does.
"Casey McGhee has played very well. He's played very well against left-handed pitchers at 2nd base, so he's a candidate to jump in there. Craig Counsell gets a lot of playing time at second base, so Casey could jump over there (at 3rd base).
"It's going to play itself out. I told them in spring training I'd give them an opportunity to show what they could to. In Atlanta, I think Mat Gamel is going to play all three games."
The potential changes could also move to the starting lineup with the failure of Manny Parra.
The left-handed starter has averaged 4 1/3 innings per start and seven earned runs allowed per game in his last three starts.
"The last start there in Miami, coming into the game, the Marlins were hitting .229 against left-handed pitching," said Macha.
"As I looked at that matchup, it looked pretty good. All we needed was for Manny to step up and throw strikes.
"Same old story. He had some command problems with a couple pitches down the middle. We needed the innings out of him badly with the bullpen problems."
Macha explains that he will give Parra one more opportunity before possibly making a change.
"Hopefully he'll get a good outing here when he pitches on Sunday. We'll see how he does, and if he pitches well fine. If he doesn't, we'll evaluate our options."