Although Atlanta Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis has resumed light baseball activities, he is still unable to take live batting practice on the field, and it appears more likely that he will not return to the Braves until after the All-Star break.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that Gattis has not experienced any pain, discomfort, or other setback, but the Braves want to make extra certain that Gattis is fully recovered from his strained oblique muscles that landed him on the disabled list on June 18. He will not take live batting practice on the field until at least Thursday, July 11. Once he can do so without any issues, he will likely play in Minor League rehab games. This would push his return until just after the All-Star break.
Gattis also wants to make sure that he does nothing to risk missing any more time than necessary. Said Gattis,
"I've got to get it right before I come back, so I can stay healthy the rest of the year."
Gattis is hitting .252/.317/.577 in just 53 games, mainly as a fill-in for Brian McCann early in the season. Four of his 14 home runs and 11 of 37 RBI have come as a pinch hitter, giving the Braves one of the strongest benches in the league. However, in addition to Gattis, Jordan Schafer is still out until later in July with an ankle problem, and Ramiro Mendoza is out for the season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
The Braves ended play on July 7 four games ahead of the Washington Nationals for the N.L. East lead. They have sustained their share of injuries, and getting Gattis and Schafer back later in the month will give them more options in the field and behind the plate as well as restrengthen their bench.
Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau.
Like Raymond’s “Baseball Bureau” page on Facebook.
Looking for fantasy baseball advice?