Before Gattis' pinch-hit appearance Friday, during which he was intentionally walked, the last time he had played at all was Aug. 23. The Braves need him to get some at-bats to snap out of the funk he's been in for three months.
"We need to get him some at-bats," manager Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "That's the only reason we're sending him down. We talked to him earlier today, and he's just not getting at-bats. I think we're going to use these next few days to get him eight, 12 at-bats, maybe even more. Whatever we can get him just to get him back to help us. That's the only reason, and he's on board with that."
Gattis' started on a pace nearly unheard of, but when Brian McCann return full bore, his playing time diminished. Combine that with an oblique injury in June, and Gattis' production has suffered. Since June 1, he's hitting a scant .188 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 37 games. He is also hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
Which gives Gattis reason to believe the final three games of Triple-A Gwinnett's schedule will help him get back on track.
"I'm excited to get some continuous at-bats from one day to the next," Gattis said. "Optimistic and excited."
Gattis has three games where he knows he'll be starting. It will be interesting to see what he makes of that opportunity.
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