Bethancourt call-up gives Braves added flexibility

Christian Bethancourt arrived in the Braves locker room Tuesday as a September call-up following the completion of his season in Triple-A Gwinnett. The exact role of the catcher is to be determined.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he likes the flexibility of a third catcher on the roster. He will be more inclined to pinch-hit, pinch-run or double switch late in games knowing that both Gerald Laird and Bethencourt are on the bench behind Evan Gattis.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Gonzalez said. “Top of my head I’m not going to say Gattis catches three, Bethancourt one and Laird is off the chart. I’m not going to say that but it’s a luxury to have three guys and you can do a little bit more out of that position.”

Bethancourt was with the Braves from June 28 to July 21 with Gattis was on the disabled list. He made 13 starts at catcher and hit .240 (12-for-50) with three RBIs. He was called up during last season’s roster expansion but appeared in just one game with one at-bat.

Gonzalez said Bethancourt is major-league ready after seasons at both Double-A and Triple-A in the minors.

Bethancourt appeared in 91 games at Gwinnett. He hit .283 (97-for-343) with eight home runs and 48 RBIs.

“I thought he had a terrific year offensively and defensively,” Gonzalez said. “We are really happy with his development.”

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