Since getting off to a torid start and making me feel foolish for doubting his ability, Casey McGehee has come back to Earth. Last nights 0-5 performance (and the only player in the line up to not reach base) is a microcosm of Casey's last six weeks. He isn't getting on base and he isn't hitting for power. In short, he looks strikingly similar to the player the Cubs let walk in 2008. Thanks to an amazing start to the season McGehee is still sporting above average stats, however he seems to be trending (which was my original claim in the off-season) to his minor league numbers. Middling pop, poor eye, and nothing else to really make him stand out.
McGehee has been one of the players that Melvin fans have pointed to with pride as proving their mustachioed heroes prowess in picking players. Without Casey, what does Melvin have to show for his efforts on this current club outside of Jack Z's draft picks?
I linked Jonathan Ede over at Brewers Daily above and he seems to think calling up Gamel would be a mistake at this point. I'm not so sure. While his value is hopefully going to be at the opposite corner, getting him platooned with McGehee (yes, his splits warrant it) in order to get some MLB at-bats makes a lot of sense to me, even if Matt's eventual position is across the diamond.
I'm not saying this move will all of a sudden make the Brewers a contender or even help them win baseball games today. It's difficult to imagine Gamel's bat outproducing the incompetence of his glove at third, but it's a possibility. It's also something I think is necessary as this team needs to start building for next year.
Worst case scenario Gamel is a flop and Melvin knows he needs to find another solution before he can move Fielder (so essentially the position we are in now). Best case, Gamel comes out like a house on fire, tears pitchers up the next 3+ months and fans have someone who will mitigate the loss of Prince. McGehee's struggles are hurting the team on the field, but are actually providing Melvin with a fantastic opportunity to help him build the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers into a winner.
6 hours ago