Braves' Evan Gattis Heads To Disabled List

Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis
- photo by Tim Evearitt
ATLANTA -- Evan Gattis will have to wait at least one more year to potentially participate in what would be his first All-Star Game. But the Braves hope their power-hitting catcher can resume his role in a tightly contested NL East race in the latter half of July.

The Braves placed Gattis on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging thoracic disk on Monday. He will receive an epidural in the coming days, but there is not much planned for him beyond that except for rest.

Although there is no set timetable, Gattis said the injury likely will not require surgery, and he believes that his recovery period "won't be too long term.
"

Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was hopeful that rest would do the trick after Gattis exited the first inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 27. However, he was forced to mutter the words few skippers want to say about an injury.

When asked about a potential timetable for Gattis' return, Gonzalez joked, "You're asking the wrong guy. I barely know the infield fly rule," referring to the costly controversial call in the Braves' NL Wild Card playoff loss to the Cardinals in 2012.

A little humor could go a long way as the Braves prepare for an indefinite stretch without their best offensive threat. Atlanta ranks among the five worst teams in the Majors in runs scored, batting average and on-base percentage.

Gattis leads the team -- and all MLB catchers -- with 16 home runs, and his .290 batting average and .900 OPS also pace the Braves. His 15.6 at-bats per homer outdo the 18.7 of Javy Lopez, who holds the franchise record for most homers by a catcher.

Perhaps most frustratingly, the injury took Gattis down at the height of his powers. He recently compiled a career-best 20-game hitting streak that set a franchise record for catchers in an organization that was established in 1871.

Gattis batted .386 (32-for-83) with eight homers, 21 RBIs, a 1.150 OPS and nine multi-hit games during the streak. He had helped Atlanta make a smooth transition after losing 10-year veteran Brian McCann to the Yankees in free agency.

If the Braves can take any solace in losing Gattis, it is the defensive advantage the tandem of Gerald Laird and Christian Bethancourt will provide. Gattis has thrown out only nine of 40 would-be basestealers and has five errors and three passed balls.

Bethancourt's defensive skills have long been Major League-ready, and although Laird has five passed balls this season, he has just one error to his name and has caught as many runners stealing as Gattis in 16 fewer attempts.

Regardless of the potential defensive upswing, Gattis will be missed. It will hurt to be without him as the Braves cling to a half-game lead in the NL East, but they know their backstop is determined to put this injury behind him and get back on the field.

-- Source: MLB.com

Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Juster Takes Low-Pro Honors At Windstone

Gregg Juster shot 71 on Monday and took low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club.  Monday's Results: Low Professional : 1st: (71) Gregg Juster 2nd: (77) Doug Amor Professional Skins: Gregg Juster #6, Doug Amor #12 & #17,  David Owens #!4 & #15 Amateur Skins: Jay Potter #1, Erik Atkinson #4, Jeff Ott #5, ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Peyton Manning - Still Great, Still Classy

There have been a lot of great quarterbacks in the long history of the National Football League. Anytime you feel like being involved in a long, healthy debate just start a conversation about who is the best quarterback of all time. Everyone has their own choice and when I was much younger, I always chose Johnny Unitas as the best to ever play the game. Most NFL fans agreed with ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Receives 6-Count Indictment For Bribing Voters In Polk County

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24, into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. This investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, criminal investigator for the Office of the District Attorney ... (click for more)

Shooting At Woodlawn Apartments Claims Life Of 20-Year-Old Male; Victim Shot Multiple Times

A shooting late Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments has claimed the life of a 20-year-old male. At approximately 10:57 p.m.. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 2300 Wilson St. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds. The victim has been transported ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)