Braves catcher Evan Gattis (back) still unsure on timetable for return


Braves catcher Evan Gattis (back) still unsure on timetable for return

Braves catcher Evan Gattis said he’s feeling better five days after he got an epidural injection for his injured back but still doesn’t have a timetable for his return to the lineup.

Gattis was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 29 with a bulging thoracic disk. He’s yet to be cleared for any physical activity other than stretching.

“No baseball activity, no jogging, no nothing,” Gattis said before the Braves played the Diamondbacks Sunday at Turner Field. “It’s frustrating. I’m trying to do the best I can, watch what I eat.”

Gattis left after the first inning of the game at Philadelphia on June 27. He said he didn’t notice any problems with his back until he felt pain while taking a swing during that game.

In his first season as the Braves’ primary catcher Gattis is hitting .290 with 16 homers, 39 RBIs and a .342 on-base percentage. In 26 games since May 26 Gattis hit .354 (35-for-99) with eight home runs, 21 RBI and.407 OBP.

Rookie Christian Bethancourt is in the lineup at catcher today against the Diamondbacks for his sixth start in eight games since his call-up. Gerald Laird has started one game at catcher since resting with an oblique injury.

Bethancourt had three hits in Saturday’s 10-4 victory over the Diamondbacks to raise his average to .300 (6-for-20). He’s also been strong behind the plate, as expected.

“It’s been impressive,” Gattis said of Bethancourt. “He’s caught good games. I think he will be fine.”

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