Gattis Expectations Too High?

evan-gattis

Evan Gattis

Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis became a folk hero last season with his rags to riches story, mammoth home runs, late game heroics and engaging personality.  With Brian McCann leaving for free agency, Gattis will be the Braves starting catcher and is expected to be a major force in the Braves line-up. Are the expectations for Gattis too high?

It was revealed that Gattis had surgery last October to remove a dime-sized bone chip from his right knee that had been bothering him since October 2006.  He was brought along slowly in the spring and you have to wonder if there could be lingering effects.

Most of the time I don’t worry about minor knee surgeries, those type procedures have become as simple as cutting your fingernails.  But a red flag went up the other day when Fredi Gonzalez announced that Chris Johnson will be his clean-up hitter and Gattis will be hitting seventh behind Dan Uggla.   Early in the spring, Gonzalez had stated that Gattis would be batting clean-up.

How do you go from being the clean-up hitter to hitting behind Uggla?  How and why did that happen?  Gattis hit only .204 in the spring with a .204 on-base-percentage and we all know that spring stats are not all that important.  Has Fredi Gonzalez seen something he doesn’t like?

Gattis had a good first half last season, but slumped down the stretch.  He needs to be more selective with the pitches he goes after to have a big  year.  I tend to think that he will make those adjustments, but I’m writing it in pencil until he shows that he is healthy once the real deal starts.

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NorthAlabamaGM
NorthAlabamaGM

From early discussions we have had, Gattis in the lower part of the lineup is a good thing. He will get plenty of fun producing opportunities if Justin. Can, and Uggla’s .350 OBP in front of him.

Wayne Canon
Wayne Canon

“How do you go from being the clean-up hitter to hitting behind Uggla?”
Jim, that has to be the ‘unkindest cut of all’ LOL!
I really expected Gattis to drop off this year…it’s hard to be a superhero two years in a row…but certainly not to this extent.
Maybe dropping him down in the order may take some of the mental pressure off.

Lee

Jim, I do think expectations for Gattis are too high. He came out on fire last season, and has quickly faded. This spring he has been unimpressive, and the daily grind behind the plate won’t help. He sprinted out of the gate last season, giving us all a reason to believe. Here’s hoping he gets his second wind soon!

fireboss
fireboss
I think he’ll be fine this year as long as it’s recognized that his primary job is catching and note El Oso Superstar. Gattis’ lineup spot is designed to take the pressure of being cleanup man and full time catcher off of him. Some forget that 14 months ago he was expected to play in Mississippi and not Atlanta. His age aside as a pro he’s still finding his way. I don’t have any illusions that he’s another Molina, Posey or McCann either behind or beside the plate but I do think he’ll be at least major league average and… Read more »
Wayne Canon
Wayne Canon

wrong again….given the time this was written and what has transpired since, would you change anything? That’s the bad part of posting something as a moderator…it just never seems to go away

fireboss
fireboss
What’s your point, that I got the lineup position wrong? Yep he hit 5th more than any other slot; 100 PA cleanup, 154 5th, 92 6th and 42 7th. Ya got me, I couldn’t predict Fredi’s lineup. Then again he put out about 142 different one last year. Gattis slashed was 263/.317/.483 with 22 homers and 17 doubles. I said around 250 20/20 so he had 4 more hits – 2 more homers and 3 less doubles than I guessed in my comment – in his 369 AB taking to him to 263 instead of 250; yep way off there.… Read more »
Wayne Canon
Wayne Canon
There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics– — Mark Twain. As a simple man that just watches a lot of baseball without ever bothering too much with a slash line or any such stats that seems better suited to fantasy baseball….which is fine, but I don’t need to do much research to know that BJ Upton sucks, and Minor could be a great pitcher. I don’t need to know that Minor has a 38% rate ground balls, 1.12 WHIP, Chews his bubble gum at least twice while while waiting for the pitch back from the catcher and has an “outlier”… Read more »
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