Braves were planning to move Evan Gattis to the outfield
Had the Atlanta Braves not traded Evan Gattis in the offseason, he would have been in for a major change.
In a Q&A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, president of baseball operations John Hart reveals that the Braves were planning to shift Gattis to the outfield due to durability concerns.
When asked if he regretted Gattis’ trade given the struggles of his replacement, Christian Bethancourt, Hart, replied:
"It had nothing to do with Bethancourt. It was more to do with Gattis and his availability to catch 115 to 120 games. We didn’t feel he could do that. If we kept him, we would’ve tried him in left field."
In two seasons with the Braves, Gattis played in a total of 213 out of 324 games as the team’s starting catcher.
Although he impressed the Braves at the plate, hitting a collective 43 home runs with 117 RBI in those seasons, his long-term feasibility at catcher became a major concern, as he was only in his mid-twenties.
The Braves tested out Gattis in left field in 2013, where he made four errors in 70 total chances, but exclusively used him as a catcher in 2014.
Gattis’ new team, the Houston Astros, have the luxury of utilizing him as a designated hitter, which they’ve done all season.
However, Gattis has started five games at left field this season, in which he’s made an error and no putouts or assists.