02/18/11 3:41 PM EST
Rivera back to prove he belongs with Brewers
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Gamel to vie for utility role
PHOENIX -- Third-base prospect Mat Gamel was among the first Spring Training arrivals this year, and that's a good thing. He's going to be busy.Manager Ron Roenicke said Gamel would see spring action at the corner outfield spots and first base in addition to his usual duties at third. He'll be among the players considered for an Opening Day spot on the Brewers' bench. "The guy can hit," Roenicke said. "So if he can make us believe he can play a lot of positions, it helps him in making teams." Gamel missed the start of last season after suffering a spring "lat" injury but still managed to bat .304 with 14 home runs and 74 RBIs in 96 games at three levels. He'll turn 26 in late July and has one Minor League option remaining. Does he seem open to embracing a utility role? "I haven't had enough conversations to really know that answer," Roenicke said, "but you would think that if you're in his shoes, you would be open to anything."
Closer John Axford is gaining back weight after a bout of food poisoning, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. Axford slightly increased his activity on Friday but will not throw off a mound for a few more days. ... The second day of formal workouts for Brewers pitchers and catchers bore striking similarities to the first. "It's just Day 2 of Groundhog Day," Roenicke said. ... A pair of 2010 Brewers made news elsewhere on Friday. Outfielder Jim Edmonds announced his retirement from baseball because of a lingering Achilles injury that dogged him last year with the Brewers and Reds. He had signed a Minor League deal with the Cardinals but never reported to camp. And utility man Joe Inglett signed a Minor League contract with the Rays that included an invitation to big league camp. Inglett was non-tendered by the Brewers in December after leading the Majors in 2010 with 20 pinch-hits, including four triples. ... Pitchers Zach Braddock and Brandon Kintzler, outfielder Chris Dickerson and catcher Jonathan Lucroy signed 2011 contracts on Friday, a formality considering they all have less than three years of Major League service. Only five members of the team's 40-man roster remain unsigned.