The long awaited call-up of Christian Bethancout from double-A to the Atlanta Braves big league club has finally happened. It is under slightly different circumstances than it seemed it would be as recently as the beginning of spring training. The emergence and impactful play of El Oso Blanco, Evan Gattis has been nothing short of stunning. You would know that at the very time the Braves call-up the one-time heir apparent to the catcher’s spot, Gattis would hit a huge hot streak.
Bethancourt is probably slightly better at worst and a lot better at best than Gattis defensively. That gap isn’t as large as it once was however with Gattis improving behind the plate. In the same way however the large offensive gap between Gattis and Bethancourt has been closed a little by Bethancourt this season so what will the effect of Bethancourt being with the team be?
Honestly I would look at it as a young guy getting a taste of MLB to get his feet wet. Even though he was thought to be the sure-fire replacement for Brian McCann in 2014, Gattis will likely be looked at first for that spot. The plus for Bethancourt is that he is younger. He is only 21 years of age and would do well to further develop his offensive skills at triple-A next season while Gattis slugs it out with back-up Gerald Laird.
Chances are that the versatility of Gattis being able to play more than the catcher position will lend itself to both catchers possibly being on the 40-man roster at some point in the near future. For now however Gattis is the man and I don’t think Bethancourt could outshine him if he tried. For the record, I doubt he is even trying to do anything of the sort but rather just improving himself.