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Tuesday's Frosty Mug: An Opening At First Base

We're talking about the aftermath of Mat Gamel's injury and more in today's daily roundup of all things Brewers.

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Hunter Morris, from 2013's photo day.
Hunter Morris, from 2013's photo day.

Some things to read while showing off your dog's rhythm.

Day eight of spring training begins today with our first season-ending injury: Mat Gamel's aggravation of his surgically repaired knee on Saturday turned out to be a re-tearing of his ACL, and he's now out for the season. This means the Brewers are once again without a first baseman, as Gamel was projected to fill in for Corey Hart until he's ready to return in May.

Here are some notes from around the web:

For what it's worth, Gamel appears to be taking the setback in stride. Todd Rosiak has quotes from his meeting with reporters this morning, where Gamel said he's "not going to sit here and pout and feel bad for myself."

He's still a very long shot to make the Opening Day roster, but 2012 Nashville first baseman Sean Halton had been called up from minor league camp to take Gamel's place in drills and has now been added to the major league camp roster. Halton is a career .294/.352/.448 hitter in four minor league seasons. Catcher Robinzon Diaz has also been added to camp, while infielder Hector Gomez has been sent back to the minor league side.

After being a camp afterthought not that long ago, top prospect Hunter Morris now has an interesting chance to make the Opening Day roster. Morris told Adam McCalvy he still has to earn his place, though. This JS poll shows that 42% of voters think he should start the season as the primary first baseman, with "someone else" finishing second ahead of Taylor Green, Alex Gonzalez and Bobby Crosby. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo says Morris won't start for the Brewers until 2014.

Meanwhile, it's possible the most unlikely chance to win the first base job belongs to Bobby Crosby, a veteran shortstop with a career .677 OPS who has been out of baseball since 2010. Tim Brown of Yahoo has a story on Crosby's decision to give baseball one more shot, with an assist from neighbor Rod Carew. Tom Haudricourt says Crosby is "ready to give first base a try," but Alex Gonzalez "didn't seem as thrilled by that prospect."

Of course, there's still a chance the Brewers could consider some external candidates. They've reportedly been in touch with the Mariners regarding recently DFA'd 1B/OF Mike Carp, but said a deal is not imminent. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Twins, Astros and Red Sox are also interested in Carp. Since they're all AL teams, they'd each be ahead of the Brewers in waiver priority.

In other news, the Brewers are back down to 13 players participating in the World Baseball Classic in March after both Carlos Gomez and Nick Bucci announced their withdrawals from the Dominican Republic and Canadian teams yesterday. Gomez said he's staying with the Brewers to focus on the season ahead, while Bucci is dealing with what's believed to be a minor shoulder issue.

Other notes from camp:

This week's injury news has overshadowed some of the other roster battles a bit, including the race for the final spots in the rotation. Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs checked out the 2013 Steamer projections and pointed out that Wily Peralta is projected to have the fourth best season among rookie-eligible pitchers.

Meanwhile, with Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado in camp the catcher position is all but settled. Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Lucroy's season outlook.

For as long as he's a free agent, we'll probably keep having this conversation periodically: Conner Boyd of Reviewing the Brew asks if it would make sense for the Brewers to sign Kyle Lohse.

In the minors:

This is hardly surprising, but I'll mention it anyway so you can nod in acknowledgement before moving on to the next paragraph: Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk took a look at which sport reigns supreme in each major city, and said the Packers own Milwaukee. He does take the Brewers over the Bucks, though.

Maybe if everyone had another Ryan Braun bobblehead, things would be different. The Brewer Nation has a preview of the Braun bobble the Brewers will give away on Sunday, May 26.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage but you're sick of reading, here are your options:

Finally, if you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Acquired outfielder Tony Campana from the Cubs for two minor league pitchers.
Pirates: Signed manager Clint Hurdle to a contract extension for 2014 with a club option for 2015.

Earlier I mentioned that Nick Bucci has decided not to pitch for Canada in the WBC. John Axford and Jim Henderson are still slated to be part of the team, though, and Pirates catcher Russell Martin may be playing behind them at shortstop.

Today's notable spring training story comes from Marlins camp, where new first baseman Casey Kotchman required four stitches on his ring finger after running into a pop-up machine.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 56th birthday of former Brewer pitching coach Dave Stewart. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 6000 days since Paul Molitor's 3000th hit.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to making horse jokes.

Drink up.