During the opening game of the Philadelphia Phillies series, catcher Evan Gattis had to leave with a minor injury issue. That always means that the offense of the Atlanta Braves is going to take at least a small dent but thanks to the great job that backup Gerald Laird has done, it means nothing more than that. Laird was brought in before the 2013 season to replace David Ross who had done a great job for the Braves backing up Brian McCann. I would say that Laird has done every bit as good of a job at backing up McCann last season and Gattis this season.
Actually the backup catching job is more important this season thanks to the inexperience of Gattis who is really still learning the batters and pitchers to some extent. Laird clearly is in control when he is in the game which is the main part of his job. It has to be a given that when he comes into the game, the pitchers do not miss a beat. If a certain pitcher is having trouble with a few things or needs help getting started on their career, it isn’t a sin to throw Laird in there to catch them because of his knowledge of the game and experience.
In the end of it all, the point is that Laird has been every bit as good at doing the backup job as Ross ever was. This is a critical place on the roster and though it doesn’t get much press, the guys who made the choice of signing Laird in the Braves’ front office deserve a pat on the back. Also, it should be mentioned that Laird should get a serious look as the backup once again next season and going on into the future seasons.