Since he spent just 12 days in the majors this season, the biggest story about Mat Gamel in 2011 was the comments Sound manager Don Money made about him in September.
Money came up to help coach the Brewers in September, Adam McCalvy asked him whether Gamel would make a good major leaguer and Money's answers were surprisingly frank and derogatory.
"If he can get his head right, and that's the thing," Money said. "He's hard-headed. He doesn't carry himself well. You have to carry yourself like a professional, and he doesn't do it and I've said it to him."
"The big question is, can he play it every day? Well, he can play first, but can he hit enough?" Money said. "That's the big 'if.'"
To be fair, it wasn't just Gamel he called out - Money had some negative remarks about Caleb Gindl and Mike McClendon, as well.
But the thoughts of a player's AAA manager probably tell you a lot about how the organization views Gamel and likely don't bode well for Gamel's future as a Brewers starter. He was passed over for Taylor Green when the Brewers wanted a left-handed bat on the bench in September and October and his major league numbers have failed to live up to the promise of his minor league ones.
For his short time in the majors, Gamel was called up on June 27 as the Brewers entered the start of the Interleague part of their schedule.Though it was assumed he was brought up to DH, he actually started two games at first, DH'd two games and started at third for one game during Interleague. He stayed with the club for another week, getting two starts at third against Arizona and Cincinnati while also.
The Brewers made it very clear in Spring Training that Gamel was being sent down to learn how to play first base, so it was somewhat surprising when he was started at third three times during his short stint with the major league club.
Prior to being called up, Gamel was hitting 321 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI, with a .380 on-base percentage and .577 slugging percentage in AAA. Unfortunately, that didn't carry over to Milwaukee, where he hit just .115 (3 for 26) with no home runs and two RBI in 10 games.
Many thought Gamel would be called up in September when rosters expanded, but the team stuck with Taylor Green as the left-handed bat on the bench.
In explanation, Doug Melvin said: "We didn't think we could get him enough at-bats to make it worthwhile. There were some other guys on that club such as (outfielder) Caleb Gindl and (pitchers) Wily Peralta and Michael Fiers who had big years but we didn't think they'd get to play, either."
"With the team we have, he's not going to get at-bats, especially with Prince at first base. Prince wants to play every day. We've got Taylor Green here and he's been swinging the bat well, so we think we're covered if we need an extra left-handed pinch-hitter."