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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Braves Injury Update: Evan Gattis out for weekend


By on 9/13/2014 03:00:00 PM

Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis will not be available for the weekend series with the Texas Rangers, reports Christian Corona of MLB.com. Gattis is dealing with strep throat and has not played since Sunday. Atlanta lost 2-1 to the Rangers on Friday, putting them three games back in the race for an NL Wild Card with 15 games remaining. Christian Bethancourt is behind the plate for Saturday's match.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez had hoped to use Gattis as a pinch hitter or DH, but he remains day-to-day. The 27-year-old Gattis is slugging .270/.325/.507 (OPS+ 129) with 22 homers and 52 RBI in 102 games—a tremendous asset to a team in the postseason hunt. However, he was on the DL from June 29-July 21 with a bulging thoracic disc, and even prior to the present illness Gonzalez planned to protect Gattis from the rigors of daily duty by utilizing veteran Gerald Laird and the rookie Bethancourt, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com,

Evan Gattis

Gattis, 27, was one of the surprises of the 2013 season for Atlanta, as they tried to make room for a non-roster invitee who hit 21 homers when they already had Brian McCann at catcher and Freddie Freeman at first base. He played left field sporadically until McCann went down with an injury. When McCann was healthy, Gattis sat on the bench, becoming a late-inning threat as he went 6 for 10 with four homers, three walks and 11 RBI as a pinch hitter. After the 2013 season McCann left in free agency and Gattis became Atlanta's primary catcher.

Althugh a star high school player, Gattis battled drugs and depression for several years before returning to college baseball in 2010 and being drafted by Atlanta (23rd round). He was called "El Oso Blanco" (the white bear) by fans in Venezuela, where he played winter ball in 2012. Gattis is pre-arb and under team control through 2018.

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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