After taking batting practice without issue for the second straight day, Evan Gattis showed the Braves Thursday he’s ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Gattis will begin an injury assignment Friday with Triple-A Gwinnett and play the first of at least three minor league games and at most six before the Braves hope to activate him with the start of the second half on Friday, July 19 against the White Sox.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would love to have the dynamic rookie catcher and bench piece available to DH in that three-game series in Chicago. Gattis is leading the majors with four pinch hit home runs despite missing the past three weeks.
Gattis will begin his assignment Friday with Triple-A Gwinnett in Durham as a DH. Gonzalez said Gattis could decide he’s ready to go after three games with Gwinnett and take the All-Star break off, or if he needs more at-bats both Braves A affiliates, Rome and Lynchburg, have games scheduled early next week when the higher levels are off for All-Star games.
Gattis has been on the disabled list since June 18 with a strained right oblique muscle.
“Another good day,” Gattis said after taking bp Thursday afternoon. “No pain. It went good. It’s been the same for the last little while. And I wasn’t sore yesterday or waking up this morning so it’s good.”
Beachy rehab: Brandon Beachy said his elbow responded well to his Tuesday night outing with Gwinnett as he resumed his minor league rehabilitation assignment. He was set to throw a bullpen Thursday or Friday and then head back out for his second rehab start, likely to be Sunday with Triple-A Gwinnett in Durham.
“Felt good, bounced back pretty well,” Beachy said Thursday.
Beachy was on the cusp of returning from Tommy John surgery when he had a setback with elbow inflammation, shutting down after a June 13 outing for Gwinnett. But since he resumed his throwing program he hasn’t had any issues.
Now it’s a matter of building back up. Beachy threw three innings in a start Tuesday in Gwinnett, allowing two runs, in a 4-3 loss to Norfolk.
Former Braves are likely to dominate the National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2014 more than any team has in quite a while, and Bobby Cox could get the ball rolling Monday when the Veterans Committee announces its selections.