Knee injury scuttles Mat Gamel's first-base plans with Brewers | Larry Stone notebook
Mariano Rivera wasn't the only player to suffer a devastating knee injury this past week. Milwaukee first baseman Mat Gamel tore his anterior...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mariano Rivera wasn't the only player to suffer a devastating knee injury this past week.
Milwaukee first baseman Mat Gamel tore his anterior cruciate ligament Wednesday, a major blow to the Brewers and, of course, to Gamel.
Gamel had hoped to use this season to show that he was the long-term solution at first base in Prince Fielder's absence. He won't get that chance, and the Brewers won't get the answers they need.
Gamel's knee buckled while he was chasing a foul pop-up against the Padres on Tuesday. The beneficiary could be Federal Way's Travis Ishikawa, Milwaukee's backup first baseman. They also called up infielder Brooks Conrad, who was hitting .400 with five homers and 13 runs batted in for Class AAA Nashville.
The Brewers could move right fielder Corey Hart to first base, or sign a veteran like Derrek Lee.
"It keeps your scouting staff working; keeps our minds going; keeps your development people working," general manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "For now, we'll fill from within. Travis will be out there. Making trades aren't as easy as people think."
Lincoln logs time in relief
Brad Lincoln has been known to joke about himself as "the guy the Pirates took instead of Tim Lincecum."
He was the fourth pick out of the University of Houston by the Pirates, one pick before the Mariners picked California's Brandon Morrow. Now 27, Lincoln has just four major-league wins, while Lincecum has two Cy Youngs. But the right-hander seems to have finally found his niche.
It's as a reliever, which isn't what Pittsburgh had in mind, of course, when it chose him so high. In five relief appearances this year, Lincoln has a 0.87 earned-run average, allowing one run and six hits in 10-1/3 innings with five walks and 11 strikeouts.
Manager Clint Hurdle is now saying that Lincoln, who has been used as a long man, might see time in key late-inning situations.
"Lincoln's stuff is playing up real big," Hurdle told reporters. "I'm not so sure Lincoln's a guy we want to keep in long relief for a long time. We might be able to use him in leverage situations."
Campana's goal: 100 steals
Cubs outfielder Tony Campana has his eye on the team's stolen-base record for a season — 67 by Frank Chance in 1903 — and more.
"I've told people before that if I played every day and did what I hope I could do at the plate, I could give myself a chance to get close to 100," Campana told the Chicago Tribune.
It's a lofty goal, considering that 100 steals in a season has been done just 21 times in MLB history (three of them by Rickey Henderson). And since 2000, just three players have reached 70: Scott Podsednik (70 in 2004 for the Brewers), Jacoby Ellsbury (70 in 2009 for the Red Sox) and Jose Reyes (78 in 2007 for the Mets).
Campana is hitting .306, which helps, and through Saturday had seven stolen bases in eight attempts.
• The Rangers elected to not pursue their top pitcher from the previous two seasons, C.J. Wilson, who signed as a free agent with the Angels. The Rangers instead focused their resources on signing Japanese ace Yu Darvish, for whom they spent more than $100 million in posting fees and salary.
It's not definite, but the two teams' rotations are setting up for Darvish to face Wilson on Friday when the Angels open a series against Texas in Arlington.
"That should be a nice matchup," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the Dallas Morning News.
• On Wednesday night, seven pitchers who had thrown no-hitters started games: A.J. Burnett (Pirates), Roy Halladay (Phillies), Phil Humber (White Sox), Edwin Jackson (Nationals), Jonathan Sanchez (Royals), Justin Verlander (Tigers) and Carlos Zambrano (Marlins).
By the time the night was over, Jered Weaver of the Angels had joined their club by no-hitting the Twins. It was the first no-hitter of Weaver's career, but that statement comes with an asterisk. In 2008, Weaver combined with reliever Jose Arredondo to hold the Dodgers hitless in a 1-0 Angels loss. Because his team lost, and because the two hurlers worked just eight innings, that outing is not officially recognized as a no-hitter.
The seven other no-hit starters, by the way, were a combined 0-1 with six no-decisions Wednesday with a 6.53 ERA and 48 hits allowed.