Chopcast: Gattis filling starter’s role nicely

ATLANTA — At times, the Evan Gattis story reads like a Hollywood script.

Wednesday night, with the Braves taking on the lowly Marlins in Miami, was one of those nights.

Gattis
belted his third home run of the season against the Marlins — the rest
of the league is starting to take notice, too. His story is becoming
famous. His roller-coaster ride of odd jobs en route to the majors is
becoming a media favorite. Even his Twitter photo — a picture of his ID
badge while working as a janitor — is buzzing in the social mediasphere.

But
the Braves (8-1), despite their hot start, have some decisions to make
in the next few weeks, most of them centered around what to do with
their power-hitting 26-year-old rookie. Keep him? Trade him? Let him
start or sit behind a recovered Brian McCann? Carry three catchers? The
Chopcast team — Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons — weighs in
on El Oso Blanco’s future with the team and more. Here are the
highlights:

— Gattis has shown consistency in his minor league
and spring training statistics, carrying them into his eye-opening
introduction to big league pitchers. What are the expectations for him
moving forward? Are they attainable?

— Following the series
finale with the Marlins, manager Fredi Gonzalez floated the idea of
playing Gattis at first base against the Nationals. That idea was met
with laughter and some scoffs. But is it possible? Can Gattis handle the
position? Can the Braves afford to keep him out of the lineup — veteran
Gerald Laird is paired to catch rookie Julio Teheran in McCann’s absence — with the cleanup spot empty?

— What was the oddest job the Chopcast team members have worked?


The pitching staff is obliterating opposing lineups at the moment. Any
compliments or concerns worth airing three series into the season?

— If a one-game playoff started next week, which Braves starter would get the call?


Given Braves reliever Jordan Walden’s interest in professional
wrestling, how in-depth could the Chopcast get with its knowledge of Ric
Flair and the like?

— Expectations for the high-interest series against the Nationals this weekend.