Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t played Evan Gattis very much lately, much to the consternation of fans who love the young rookie. As always, Fredi has his reasons, and in the case of Evan Gattis it’s because he’s gone without a hit in his last 17 at-bats when Fredi has played him, and is a mere .188 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 36 games since June 1.
Evan Gattis took Braves’ Country by storm, making the team in the spring when few thought he could, and showing his baseball chops well in the early part of the season, particularly when Brian McCann was still on the sidelines with injury, and there was a platoon situation with Gerald Laird. Even after McCann returned, Fredi Gonzalez made every attempt to play Gattis as often as he could, and through most of the 1st half that paid off, even if it was just in pinch hitting situations. Gattis has clearly slumped though, and September for the Braves is not a time to start experimenting!
That said, the Braves’ Organization decided to option Evan Gattis to Triple-A Gwinnett, reportedly, to get him more at-bats than he would get in Atlanta. When asked about the decision, Fredi Gonzalez said…
We forget that he’s a rookie. The way he started, rookies don’t start that way. Usually they start struggling and then they kind of catch up for a little bit, maybe get sent down for a week or a month or so and come back up and do well. But he started like ‘man, oh man,’ he couldn’t do anything wrong. And sometimes you forget because he’s a little bit older than most rookies that he’s a rookie and he’s going to go through some of these things.
Some were a touch upset that the announcement was made on, of all nights, El Oso Blanco night at Turner Field. Frankly, I always thought even having that night for a mere rookie was a bit cheezy. In fact, I imagine if Gattis were honest, he would say the same. Gattis was reportedly pleased with the decision to be optioned though, saying that he was happy to be able to get more at-bats….
I’m excited to get some continuous at-bats from one day to the next. I’m optimistic and excited. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to see some pitching, different pitchers, and have four at-bats a game, and just see where we stand after that.
Twitter was awash with question about Gattis’ eligibility to come back to Atlanta for the playoffs. No need to sweat fans! His eligibility will not be affected, in short, because any player who belongs to the organization as of August 31 is still eligible for the playoffs, and Gattis won’t have to satisfy the usual 10 day rule because Gwinnett’s season will end on Monday.
The Braves have yet to make an announcement about who will take Evan’s place while he in Triple-A. Rosters expansion occurs tomorrow, so we will have to wait to see who Fredi & Co. decide to bring up to help the Braves heading into September and the playoffs.