Fredi giving Gattis reps as Schafer slides to bench
PHILADELPHIA -- Never mind Evan Gattis' 0-for-4 in the cleanup spot in Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Phillies. Gattis was back in the lineup again Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park as an apparently healthy Jordan Schafer remained on the bench.
"In [Phillies starter Kyle] Kendrick's splits, right-handers are hitting pretty good [.319 vs. 245 by lefties] against him," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We just brought [Gattis] back [from Triple-A Gwinett on Tuesday], he hasn't gotten a chance to play a lot, and to tell you the truth, I have seen some pretty good at-bats.
"I thought he spilt the gap last night [off Cliff Lee], the ball just hung up a little bit. You don't mind him playing [left field] here, because it's not a real big park to defend."
Though playing in only 83 games entering Saturday, Gattis led all Major League rookies in RBIs (48) and was tied for first in home runs (16), power the Braves want in their lineup.
Never mind the job Schafer has done when given more opportunities by B.J. Upton's struggles and Jason Heyward's broken jaw.
Schafer went 4-for-5 and stole three bases on Monday night against the Mets before exiting in the seventh inning with a lower back strain. Gonzalez apparently still sees Schafer, who was claimed off waivers from the Astros last November, as a fourth outfielder.
"I think Schafer is a valuable piece and player," said the manager. "If we play him like we did in April, May and half of June, he'll be fine.
"He's almost better if you bring him out of the bench. A defensive guy. We'll see, maybe we'll give him a couple starts in Miami [next week], or some place."