Houston Astros’ Evan Gattis is off to a Fast Start in Double-A Rehab
The Houston Astros will soon get this fresh-faced player from Double-A Corpus Christi soon. Some call him El Oso Blanco, some call him a lumberjack, but most people call him Evan Gattis. He is coming off his first season with the Astros following the trade from the Braves. He was unable to start the season in 2016 due to hernia surgery during spring training but is currently rehabbing in Corpus. Why did I say fresh-faced, take a look at the featured image?
At the time of writing the post, Gattis went 3-4 last night with a home run last night. Gattis is currently hitting .417 in his first three games of his rehab. He is showing that his bat is ready, but will he be ready to contribute defensively in the outfield or at designated hitter? As you can see from his featured picture above, Gattis has slimmed down to shake his DH label and play more defensively.
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Going into camp, the Astros were considering using Gattis as a possible catching option if not the backup catcher. Max Stassi was the favorite to be the backup catcher, but should he have struggled, and the Astros wanted an option. As you know, Gattis had the hernia surgery and Stassi had hand surgery, so the Astros traded for Erik Kratz. Gattis is supposed to work some catching in his time with the Corpus Christi Hooks, but not sure how much playing time he will get as a catcher. Brian McTaggart said it is possible that he works on catching while he is in Corpus.
The Astros have the depth right now to allow Gattis the time to develop as a catcher in the minors, and then he could replace Kratz on the roster, and the Astros could carry both Preston Tucker and Gattis. While this is just my speculation, but the Astros could send Kratz down to activate Gattis and Matt Duffy down when Lance McCullers is ready. The Astros hitters are strong enough to be able to carry only 12 hitters, especially with a guy like Gattis joining the team soon.
Will the Astros trust Gattis as the backup catcher, I can not be sure on that because he has not caught a game in more than a year? Nothing against Kratz, but he is the true definition of a backup catcher in every sense. He is just a band-aid for the Astros right now who don’t appear to have great catching depth in the system.
Catcher or DH, it will be great to get an impact bat like Gattis back in the lineup. Tucker has hit well in his place, but the Astros will enjoy having a player like Gattis, who won’t have to be pinch hit for when a left-handed pitcher is brought in. Thanks to Tammy Tucker for the featured picture of Gattis.
**Stats from MiLB First Pitch App**