Fifteen games are left on the Atlanta Braves spring training schedule for players to get ready for six grueling months of competitive baseball. These games will also decide the fate of some trying to make the opening day roster.
The Evan Gattis story has been documented now and most know about the turn of events that took place in his life. He’s battled through a lot to get to where he is today and hopefully he will continue down the right path. But he’s got another obstacle lying before him – to make the Atlanta Braves opening day roster.
During the 2013 trip to Florida, Gattis has been making MLB pitchers look like they are still in their college days. Since the beginning of spring training he’s ripped 13 hits, five doubles and two home runs in 29 at bats. He’s added 10 RBI’s and seven runs in the 15 games he’s been scheduled to play in. Which leads me to my next question….Why isn’t Gattis in the lineup more, especially at the catcher position??
Gattis has only had a handful of games (and even less starts) at the catcher position this spring and it’s causing me to wonder what the front office has in store for him. I realize they wanted to get Gerald Laird and Christian Bethancourt time behind the plate early because they figured those guys would be their 1-2 punch with Brian McCann on the DL to star the season. But neither has shown any offense yet with a combined three hits. The catcher position isn’t all about offense though and the main reason Laird will probably get the opening day start is because of his experience catching and his knowledge behind the plate but show me the offense!!!
So the scenario in the Braves organization stands as…McCann will be out probably until mid April to late April. Before his return, Laird will probably get the nod opening day (don’t want this but I see it happening). Then comes who will be Laird’s backup, Bethancourt, Gattis or a guy who is 30-years-old and sat out the entire year last year Matt Pagnozzi.
Here’s how I see it, give Pagnozzi the backup catcher position for the month of April until McCann returns. Send Bethancourt and Gattis to Gwinnett so they can continue maturing at the catcher position with Gattis getting the majority of the starts. If McCann leaves after this season and the Braves plan is to have Gattis be the 2014 catcher, I’d prefer him have a full season at the Triple-A level (highest he’s been in Double-A) catching as many games as possible instead of him being the backup catcher/outfielder at the MLB level and not getting the playing experience everyone is saying he’s lacking.
Unless the Braves decide to finally let Gattis catch more often in these last fifteen games, I think Gattis should not make the opening day roster and let him tear up Triple-A pitching.
This situation can have many possibilities, what’s your opinion on this?