Some potentially bad news for the Braves: catcher Evan Gattis left last night’s game against the Phillies in the first inning with back spasms. He appeared to tweak something during his at-bat in the first inning and was replaced by Gerald Laird for the bottom half of the inning.
Gattis is listed as day-to-day. For what it’s worth, manager Fredi Gonzalez is optimistic:
“If he DLs, it’s going to be 15 days without him. And [head trainer Jeff Porter] doesn’t seem to think it’s going to be that long. So we’re not thinking about that move right now . . . he assured me that this could clear up in the next day or two.”
Of course Gonzalez is also optimistic that B.J. Upton is a leadoff hitter, so who knows.
Gattis is hitting .290/.342/.558 with 16 homers on the season.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.