Brian McCann could rejoin the Braves in just over a week during their next road trip, but the veteran catcher’s return doesn’t mean Evan Gattis will be sent down to the minor leagues.
McCann is in the final stages of his recovery from October shoulder surgery and was 3-for-7 with a double, two home runs, five RBIs and two walks in his first two rehab games for Class-A Rome, which got rained out Sunday.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was leaning toward carrying three catchers when McCann returns, with veteran backup Gerald Laird and Gattis both staying on the 25-man roster along with the former six-time All-Star McCann.
“Yeah, I think so, but we’ll see,” Gonzalez said. “I mean, Gattis hasn’t given us any reason to (send him down). He’s hit at the major league level; he’s got what, six home runs? So there’s no reason for him to go to Triple-A. We’ll see how that dynamic works, and how close Jason (Heyward) is to coming back.”
Heyward had an emergency appendectomy Monday at Denver. He’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on May 6, the opener of a series at Cincinnati and the first game of another 10-game, three-city trip. But he might not be ready that soon.
If McCann comes off the DL before Heyward, Gonzalez hinted that he could play Gattis some in left field and move Justin Upton from left field to right.
“But who goes down?” to open a spot on the 25-man roster for McCann, Gonzalez asked rhetorically. “But that’s nine, 10 days down the road.”