Braves Notes: Heyward To Lead Off, Gattis Is The Starting Catcher, O’Flaherty Could Be Back


October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) reacts after the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Bowman is normally a busy man. That’s especially true today, as he’s reporting a number of different things on the Atlanta Braves and what the team could look like next season.

Apparently, Fredi Gonzalez liked the way Jason Heyward led off for part of the season last year (why wouldn’t he?), and he is planning on using him there again:

Ben Duronio wrote about Heyward leading off on Talking Chop. While it may not be his ideal spot in the lineup, Heyward is Atlanta’s best bet as the first guy for now.


With Brian McCann signing with the Yankees, the obvious immediate replacement was Evan Gattis, and Gonzalez also confirmed that:

It will be interesting to see how Gattis handles the role of a starting catcher in the major leagues, from an offensive and defensive standpoint. I’m not convinced of anything with the big fellow just yet, but he has great potential with the bat, and if he can clean up his defensive game just a bit, the power he will provide can make him a valuable player.

It is nice to know that Gerald Laird and Christian Bethancourt are both available if need be, but I’d definitely prefer leaving Bethancourt alone for as long as possible so he can continue to refine his offensive game.


Lastly, Bowman tweeted that the Braves are interested in re-signing Eric O’Flaherty:

This doesn’t sound very promising, but I would rather Frank Wren do some more bullpen magic than resign O’Flaherty to a more expensive contract than he had with us previously.


We’ll continue to scan the web and let you guys know if anything else happens, and what we think about it.