The Mariners' addition of Jarrod Dyson on Friday shakes up their early projected outfield lineup. According to Divish, Seattle will likely go with Dyson in left field most days while Leonys Martin will take over in center field and Mitch Haniger will play in right. Gamel, a young left-handed outfielder with decent on-base capability (.365 OBP at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2016) was once penciled in a potential starter in one of the Mariners' corner outfield spots. Now it appears his spot on the 25-man roster may have to be won in spring.
Gamel is capable of handling all three outfield spots defensively, so the pressure will be on his bat in spring training and in the first couple months of the season. It sounds like Gamel and Seth Smith are the favorites to open the year as the starters in the outfield corners, with Guillermo Heredia and Danny Valencia serving as platoon options. Gamel, a left-handed hitter, has hit both left-handed and right-handed pitching in the minors, but struggled against all big league pitching in a brief sample last year. If his bat comes around, he could offer 20-plus steals off the waiver wire in most formats.
Gamel was a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, but he played a key role in the M's comeback attempt. He singled in the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth that eventually sent the game to extra innings. In the 10th, he singled and went to second on a wild pitch but was stranded as the
Gamel is out of the lineup Sunday against the Athletics, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports.
Gamel's run as a regular starter in the outfield seems to have come to an end, as he'll find himself on the bench for the fifth time in the last seven games. With Nori Aoki back with the big club, look for Gamel to see limited opportunities down the stretch while the Mariners vie for a playoff spot.
Gamel is out of the lineup Thursday against the Rangers, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports.
The Mariners are sending many of their left-handed bats to the bench with the Rangers starting southpaw Derek Holland for the series finale, so Franklin Gutierrez will take over in right field for Gamel for the evening.
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