Braves' Evan Gattis Heads To Disabled List

Tuesday, July 1, 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

Randy Smith: The Ball Is In Your Court

To the Hamilton County Board of Education: The ball is now in your court. You know which ball I'm talking about. The proverbial football that has been kicked and bounced all over East Ridge. It's finally been placed in your court because the stadium where the Pioneers have played their home football games for the last 50 years has been condemned. Other than a few coats of orange ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Community College Baseball 2015 Fall Baseball Tournaments Announced

Cleveland State will host two fall baseball tournaments at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland for 18 & Under High School or Select Teams.  Sept. 19-20              18 & Under High School and Select Teams                        ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Seeking Court Approval To Sell Trenton Family Practice For $350,000

Hutcheson Medical Center, continuing to make cost-cutting measures, is seeking court approval to sell the Trenton Family Practice at Trenton, Ga., for $350,000. Ted Rumley, county executive for Dade County, said the medical center is so important for the county that officials have arranged for the Dade County Industrial Development Authority to buy it. He said arrangements ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 SB Involving 2 Tractor-Trailers And 3rd Vehicle; Volkswagen Drive Exit Closed Several Hours

One person was killed in a wreck on Interstate 75 involving three vehicles early Monday morning. Two of the vehicles were tractor-trailers. The accident happened at approximately 6:28 a.m. at the southbound lanes of 700 I-75. The southbound lanes at the Volkswagen Drive exit were closed for several hours. TDOT said the wreck was near the Bonny Oaks Drive/Collegedale ... (click for more)

DWT Is DUI - And Response

A routine narrative of a DUI arrest report goes something like this:   The defendant was operating a motor vehicle in the 00 block of sonsoroad. The driver was weaving back and forth across the marked roadway. The defendant drove through a stop sign. Was stopped at an intersection despite the traffic light was green. Entered the lane of another vehicle and caused a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT’s Gender-Neutral Dopes

With due apology to Smokey, the University of Tennessee’s famed blue-tick hound, the tail is wagging the dog at UT-Knoxville. Donna Braquet, the director of the university’s Pride Center, wants to suck 99.9 percent of the 28,000 students into a ridiculous scheme that will make the campus “welcoming and inclusive for all” … .01 percent. Her idea is to do away with binary gender ... (click for more)