When Evan Gattis went down with a random back injury that turned out to be a disk problem, many Atlanta Braves fans winced visibly. While the loss of his power and run production most certainly has been felt during the quiet times for the Braves offense, it would be insincere to suggest that Christian Bethancourt had not done a marvelous job in backing him up. When you consider that this stretch of games marks the first time that Bethancourt has been behind the plate in the major leagues, it really does become clear how good he is.
Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves have clearly said that there will be no other place for Gattis to play. When he comes back from the disabled list, he will be the Braves catcher just like he should be. At that time Bethancourt will probably go back down to Triple-A to make sure he continues to play every day. Something is definitely brewing in the development of this great talent however. Eventually the Braves are going to have to make a tough decision.
Look for them to probably hang on tightly to Bethancourt through the trade season even though teams are sure to ask about the dynamic catcher’s services. Not only has he proved to be able to hit pretty well at the MLB level but he has been great in clutch-hitting situations as well. Assuming they are able to hold on to him past this stretch of games, the Braves will have something of a large decision on their plate this winter.
Bethancourt is MLB material now. He certainly will be MLB worthy next season. Gattis isn’t going anywhere either however and will be going into his second full season catching. That should make him even more valuable as well. Bethancourt will have the edge defensively behind the plate while Gattis has the clear edge when it comes to pure offensive power. Surely the Braves cannot hold both. Who will be their everyday catcher? Will they be able to trade Bethancourt for a massive return? Would they be willing to if they could? Only time will tell.