DOB reports Gattis may split time with Laird, bolstering speculation that the 26-year-old right-handed hitting rookie will start Opening Day with southpaw Cole Hamels on the mound for Philly.
The roster is pretty much set, with Jordan Schafer and Ramiro Pena filling out a bench that includes Juan Francisco/Chris Johnson and Reed Johnson.
And with JV all but certain to start the season on the DL, expect Cristhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro – both out of options — to fill out the bullpen along with Jordan Walden, Avilan, EOF and Kimbrel.
It appears Gattis (.438-2 HR 10 RBI) is a decent bet to make the 25-man roster. If so, don’t be surprised if the right-handed slugger starts at catcher Opening Night vs. Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels.
“When you put a guy [in the lineup], you know you’re going to give him four at-bats,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t know if the ball is ever going to get hit to him. [So] play him. Then you’ve got a lead or whatever, you figure something out defensively.”
Actually, I don’t know what to infer from that Fredi-speak, but all signs point to Gattis making his Turner Field debut on April 1.
Evan Gattis rarely comes up in any discussion of what to do if/when Brian McCann leaves the organization but maybe he should. He mashes wherever he goes, and while he’s got some work to do defensively B-Mac isn’t exactly Benito Santiago. But because he’s 26, most dismiss him as a prospect. Usually, they’d be right, but Gattis is a particular case.
First, he’s not 25, at least not in baseball years. He missed out on 4 years of development, blowing his scholarship at Texas A&M. After a year at Oklahoma Junior College, Gattis dropped out again. Then, following three years on the road, Gattis managed to land at a Texas college I’ve never heard of before being drafted by the Braves (which, considering his background, speaks of his talent).
You could make the argument, and you would be right, that Gattis is dominating more seasoned competition. They may be younger, but most have more minor league experience and/or hail from programs a tad more prestigious than Texas Permian-Basin.