Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/31/12
Mat Gamel has seen sporadic action with the Brewers since 2008. But make no mistake: 2012 is his time. With Prince Fielder now in Detroit, Milwaukee's starting first base spot is Gamel's. And, the 26-year-old sounds ready to seize the moment. Saturday served as evidence, as Gamel clubbed a grand slam and a solo home run, as the Brewers beat a Padres split squad 10-7. "I'm excited," Gamel said before the game, "to feel like I have an opportunity, on a daily basis, to go out and play." The 6-foot, 215-pound slugger had 28 home runs to go along with 96 RBIs last season for Triple-A Nashville. Now, the lefthanded hitter plans to become a fixture in the Brewers' lineup. Gamel, who saw action in the past predominantly at third base and in left field, has made a concerted effort to push himself this spring. "It's been a different spring," he explained, "just from my mindset to my role." Gamel added that he has tried to "just prepare myself. Do the extra work. Put in the work during BP, catch throws from all the guys and all that kind of stuff, just to where hopefully that helps the mental part of it." Gamel's overall goals are simple. "Just go out, stay healthy, and help the team win," he said sternly. Conrad is Mr. Versatility: Is there any position Brooks Conrad can't play? It wouldn't appear so, considering the extensive work the first-year Brewer is getting this spring. "I've really gotten a chance to mix around and do a lot of work at different positions," Conrad noted Saturday. "I played more first base. I actually worked on a little bit of emergency catching. ... As well as playing a lot of third and second. ... Even outfield, in a pinch. "It's been a lot of work, but that's gonna be my role," he added, "so I'm really focused on all that versatility stuff, for sure." If Conrad sounds eager, it's with good reason. The journeyman didn't truly break into the big leagues until 2010 -- at the age of 30 -- with Atlanta. Thus, he has a unique appreciation for a major-league roster spot. So put him in, Coach -- at literally any position. Except pitcher. "That's the only (position) I'm not gonna try," Conrad said, smiling, of the pitcher's role. "If that comes up, (I'll say) 'Try somebody else.' But any other place is fine." The Milwaukee Brewers provided interviews for this report.
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