From the Braves’ official team Twitter feed comes word that Evan Gattis has officially been activated from the disabled list after missing close to four weeks because of a strained right oblique.
“El Oso Blonco” was not expected to return until after the All-Star break, but the Braves’ entire starting outfield is hobbled (along with first baseman Freddie Freeman) so he had to be rushed back. Gattis went 1-for-8 with three strikeouts on his two-game minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett.
The 26-year-old slugger was batting .252/.317/.577 with 14 home runs and 11 doubles in 53 games for the Braves before hitting the shelf.
In a corresponding move, B.J. Upton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right abductor muscle strain. He suffered the injury on Friday night and it hadn’t improved much by Sunday morning.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.