MILWAUKEE -- Mat Gamel took a big step forward in his rehabilitation from a right knee injury when he began hitting off a tee on Friday.
It marked Gamel's first chance to hit since he tore his ACL chasing a ball in foul ground at San Diego on May 1. If his rehab continues at its current positive pace, there is a chance Gamel could play in the Arizona Fall League.
The Brewers would need an exemption for Gamel, who owns Major League service in excess of the usual AFL standards. And he would have to be healthy enough to play.
"If I can't play, I can't play," he said. "I don't want to rush myself back to play in those games and get hurt because I wasn't ready. But if I'm ready, I definitely want to get at-bats. I just don't want to force it."
If he is not quite ready in time for the AFL, which begins its 20th season on Oct 9, then Gamel would consider playing in the Dominican Republic for the second consecutive winter.
As to what position he will play, that remains in question. The Brewers moved Corey Hart to first base in the wake of Gamel's injury with great success, and Hart may remain there next season.
"Wherever they want me to play, wherever they tell me to play, is where I'll play," he said. "Whatever helps my chances to be on this club next year."