Few could have expected how well Christian Bethancourt would do when Evan Gattis went to the disabled list with an injured back. The Atlanta Braves have done quite well offensively even with Gattis on the shelf for a couple of weeks. One thing that they have not been doing a great deal of however is hitting the long ball. Gattis’ return should help the already improved offense by bringing back the threat of the long ball and then the long ball itself.
What that means is that Gattis might not have perfect timing the moment he steps onto the field on Monday, providing he does make his return then. Even though he could take a game or two getting back up to MLB speed, Gattis’ presence in the lineup will help the already improved bats of the Braves get even better. If everything goes well, he could provide a boost immediately with a home run or two himself. Even if not, there should be a few more straight fastballs coming at the guys around him.
As far as Bethancourt is concerned, there are big decisions on the horizon for the Braves. Few teams in the game can claim to have such a logjam of talent behind the plate. Chances are high that either Bethancourt or Gattis could be sent off before the start of next season unless the team decides to somehow try to keep them both. That seems unlikely which could bring rumors of a trade involving Bethancourt. If Gattis proves he is going to continue being a MLB slugger, Bethancourt would be someone the Braves would ask for a very high price for, but time will tell.