Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel tore his surgically repaired anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee for the second straight year.
Gamel will miss the 2013 MLB season due to the injury and his career could be in jeopardy. Gamel was made the starting first baseman last year to replace slugger Prince Fielder who left the team via free agency. Gamel got off to a decent start but tore his ACL on May 1, 2012 against the San Diego Padres when he ran into a wall along the first base line while chasing a foul popup. Corey Hart was moved to first from right field and did such an incredible job that he was named the starter for this season.
Hart, of course, underwent right knee surgery and will miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Instead of Gamel being the backup he was named the Opening Day starter at first base and would then take a reserve role once Hart was healthy enough to rejoin the team.
The 27-year-old Gamel reinjured the knee this past week but it wasn’t revealed that he had actually tore the muscle until today. Manager Ron Roenicke looked emotional when delivering the news to the media and the morale in the clubhouse among the players is definitely low after hearing what happened to their teammate.
This is obviously devastating news for Gamel who has been finally given a great opportunity to contribute at the Major League level after spending so much time in the minors. There is no question he was disappointed last season when this exact injury took place because he was guaranteed the first base job, something he worked so hard to get. However, for the same injury to happen to the same knee one year later, it will certainly be difficult mentally to get over it.
Gamel batted .246 with one home run and six RBIs in 69 plate appearances in 2012.