Evan Gattis has had a nice little rookie season so far, but while he still has power to burn, the league is starting to figure him out and his OBP is going down. So it’s probably good that Brian McCann is back. The Braves just activated him and he’ll start tonight. The corresponding roster move: the optioning of Tyler Pastornicky. Which sort of sounds like an art house movie title if you think about it.
McCann is coming off shoulder surgery but has looked pretty good on his rehab stint. He’s a .279/.351/.475 career hitter and will be a welcome addition to the feast-or-famine offense they’ve got going on in Atlanta.
Gattis gets to stay and will likely spot in an outfield corner, at first and catch a little while providing a power threat off the bench.
Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.
Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.
Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.