Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton (59) beats the tag by Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis (24) to score a run during the third inning at Nationals Park in their game on Jun 21, 2014. (USA TODAY Sports: Brad Mills)
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are 13-6 in the games Evan Gattis missed, but they know that they are a lot more dangerous team with the slugging catcher in the lineup.
Sidelined since injuring his back June 27, Gattis likely will come off the disabled list Monday.
“I expect him to be here and in the lineup,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
That would beat the early estimated recovery time of at least four weeks, but the real news was that the powerful right-handed hitter was able to avoid potential surgery on a bulging disk.
Gattis played four rehab games with Triple-A Gwinnett, going 3-for-16. On Sunday, he went 2-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs. He caught Friday and Saturday and was the designated hitter in the first and fourth game of the series against Durham.
Gattis had just one hit before Sunday, but the Braves knew it would take a few games for him to get his timing back at the plate. He struck out seven times in the four-game series.
Gattis was hitting .290 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 63 games for Atlanta when he hurt his back on a swing. Included was a 20-game hitting streak.
Rookie Christian Bethancourt started 13 of the 19 games Gattis missed, and he played well. He is expected to be sent back to Gwinnett, though, so he can play every day.
Bethancourt hit .240 with a double and three RBIs, reaching base safely in 11 games.
Gerald Laird is entrenched as the Braves’ backup catcher, and he will again serve as the No. 2 backup once Gattis is activated. Laired went 1-for-2 with two walks Sunday in the Braves’ 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Reports: Giants, Uggla agree to deal
Second baseman Dan Uggla agreed to a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants, according to multiple reports.
The Giants will assign Uggla to Triple-A Fresno.
The Atlanta Braves released the struggling second baseman late last week. In 48 games this year, Uggla batted just .162 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 130 at-bats.
Last season, Uggla batted .179 with 22 home runs and 55 RBIs and had corrective eye surgery. The Braves left him off the postseason roster after he lost his starting job to Elliot Johnson.
Uggla, a three-time All-Star, had a 33-game hitting streak in 2011. He also struck out 495 times in 451 games from 2011-13.
Uggla began this season as the starting second baseman, but batted just .212 in April and an even-worse .080 in 25 May at-bats.