For the catcher position in 2013, the Atlanta Braves really went all out. They had one of the game’s best catchers manning the position in Brian McCann but still were able to get time for both Gerald Laird and Evan Gattis at the position. Gattis went on to have a rookie season good enough to place him seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. That’s with him bouncing all over the field, picking up a great deal of time in left field by the end of the year.
As the 2014 pitchers and catchers day to report draws nearer, you can bet that Gattis is looking forward to hitting camp as the team’s number one catcher. Laird is still there and will no doubt provide great backup as well as the ability for Gattis to learn from a catching veteran the ins and outs of the MLB catching game. Ryan Doumit has been brought in to spell them both at that spot as well as provide a solid bench bat.
All in all, the entire situation won’t be that much different than it was one year ago. For Gattis the main difference is going to be the fact that he, not McCann will be the man behind the plate. He is a big guy and some worry about injury but the Braves are sure to give him at least one day each rotation off as they usually try to do and could even give him a start in left now and then to stretch his legs a bit. Look for an MVP-caliber season from Gattis as he solidifies his place as Braves’ catcher of the future.