Will B.J. Upton Join Dan Uggla On Braves' Bench?

Braves' Consider Bringing Up Christian Bethancourt

Monday, June 16, 2014
B.J. Upton's performance still leaves much to be desired.
B.J. Upton's performance still leaves much to be desired.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
ATLANTA -- As Christian Bethancourt has continued to surge offensively for Triple-A Gwinnett and B.J. Upton has extended his struggles, the Braves have at least started toying with the idea of moving Evan Gattis to left field.

Though a decision does not necessarily seem imminent, the Braves have discussed the possibility of promoting Bethancourt to serve as Atlanta's starting catcher. If this decision were to be made, Gattis would move to left field and Justin Upton would transition to right field.
To complete this equation, Jason Heyward would replace B.J. Upton in center field.

B.J. Upton provided some glimmer of hope as he produced a .354 on-base percentage in the 15 games played from May 19-June 3. But, he has still hit just .220 with a .301 OBP in his past 25 games. In addition, the Braves have gained more reason to be concerned about his defense. Upton dropped a routine fly ball in Friday's eighth inning and then booted a single that led to a costly run in the eighth inning of Saturday night's 13-inning loss to the Angels. But like with the diving catch he made to rob Josh Hamilton of an extra-base hit in Sunday's seventh inning, he has still occasionally flashed his former defensive brilliance.

The Braves have been more than patient since giving Upton a five-year, $75.25 million contract before the 2013 season. But that patience has worn thin as the defensive miscues have further highlighted the fact that Upton's bid to bounce back from last year's career-worst season has not yet materialized. He has batted .210 with a .634 OPS through his first 64 games.

Meanwhile, as Bethancourt has batted .312 with a .764 OPS in his past 37 games, he has at least given the Braves an alternative. There has never been much reason to be concerned about Bethancourt's defensive skills, which have been deemed Major League ready for the past three years. But now that the 22-year-old catcher is showing some signs of optimism at the plate, the Braves are getting the sense he's ready for a promotion.

Bethancourt, who has been compared to a young Benito Santiago, would certainly provide the Braves a defensive upgrade behind the plate. The team would also seemingly benefit from a defensive perspective by replacing B.J. Upton in center field with Heyward, who leads the Majors with 20 Defensive Runs Saved.

Gattis, who entered Sunday leading the Braves in home runs (15) and OPS (.936), is no stranger to left field. He made 48 starts at the position last year and manned the position throughout the postseason, during which Heyward was in center and Justin Upton was in right.

------ Source: MLB.com

Evan Gattis would be move to left field.
Evan Gattis would be move to left field.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Lookouts Bounce Wednesday With 8-3 Win Over Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Chattanooga Lookouts broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run seventh inning on the way to a 9-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns in front of 3,154 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Wednesday night. The Lookouts (31-27 second half, 67-61 overall) broke a scoreless tie in the third inning against Suns left-hander Matt Tomshaw. Second baseman Levi Michael hit ... (click for more)

Lookouts Fall To Suns Tuesday, 3-2

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Suns drew four walks against Chattanooga Lookouts right-hander Zack Jones in the ninth inning, the last being a bases-loaded walk by Suns third baseman Brian Anderson that forced in the winning run for a 3-2 victory in front of 3,001 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Aaron Slegers made the start for the Lookouts in this one and ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)