The Atlanta Braves took on the New York Yankees at Champion Field in Kissimmee Florida on Saturday afternoon. This was their second spring training game of the 2013 season, both being played at their home field at ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities. Starting with Paul Maholm on the mound, the Braves started the game with their infield starters but sat their outfield. But a guy, who was probably the star of the game for the Braves, isn’t guaranteed to be on the opening day roster.
I was able to go down to Florida to catch this game and surly enjoyed the nice warm weather. Plus, I liked the Braves facility, as this was the first I had been there. I also appreciated the offensive output that Evan Gattis displayed. Gattis ripped a double down the left field line in his 2nd at bat. Then, in his 3rd at bat and Freddie Freeman on first, destroyed a pitch off Yankees pitcher Mikey O’Brien going over the left field wall.
Gattis has a very strange batting stance, see below for pictures, he stands with his feet spread very far apart and keeps his weight all the way back from the start. By doing this he avoids the stride part of his swing, keeping his weight back and his hands up, he can go straight down to the baseball putting all his power into his swing. Once you heard the ball hit the bat when he hit his home run, you knew it was out of the park. It just had that sound.
Evan didn’t get an at bat during the first spring training game on Friday and I’m not sure why but he displayed what everyone has been craving over since his play in winter ball. My guess is he will be playing a lot during these spring training games to see if he can hit major league pitching. And if he does, plan on Gattis to make the opening day roster.
It will be exciting to watch this guy hit this year, maybe he can turn into the power right handed bat we thought Dan Uggla was going to bring a couple years ago. The problem will be finding a spot for Gattis. On Saturday he was the Braves DH but Fredi Gonzalez should realize to take him out of this spot. The reason is, the Braves won’t play that many games when they can add a DH to their lineup so they need to begin starting him at a position he can play during the regular season. The positions he has experience playing in the minors are catcher or the outfield. As I said in a previous post, I think he could start day one as the Braves catcher so I hope on Sunday against the Pirates, he’s behind the plate. See the slideshow of the home run Gattis hit on Saturday afternoon.