Evan Gattis sent to Double-A to catch

The Astros sent Evan Gattis to Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday as part of plan to use him more at catcher this season.

Gattis began the season on the disabled list as a result of undergoing hernia surgery in early February. He missed the first eight games of the season and has played in 20 of the Astros’ 22 games since he returned to active status. He has been either the designated hitter or a pinch-hitter in all 20 of the games.

He is hitting .203 (13-for-64) with one home run, seven RBIs, a .257 on-base percentage and .570 OPS. He has struck out 22 times and has five extra-base hits.

According to an article on the Astros’ web site, the plan is to have Gattis work on his catching skills for the next couple of weeks — and a minimum of 10 days — and then return as a DH who also plays catcher.

“I’m on board with it,” Gattis said to MLB. “I think it’s going to be good for my future. I love to catch, and it’s where I feel comfortable on the field.”

The Braves traded Gattis, with pitcher James Hoyt, to the Astros on Jan. 14, 2015 for pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, third baseman Rio Ruiz and pitcher Andrew Thurman. He has not caught in a game since joining the Astros, but he played catcher in 135 games for the Braves in his two seasons with the team, 2013-14.

With the Braves, Gattis had a .253 batting average in 213 games. He hit 43 home runs and drove in 117 run in 723 at-bats. His OBP was .304 and OPS was .762.

With the Astros, Gattis has a .241 batting average in 173 games. He has hit 35 homers and driven in 141 runs in 630 at-bats. His OBP is .282 and his OPS is .730.

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