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Atlanta Braves - TeamReport

Reuters

4:50 AM EDT, September 16, 2014

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - INSIDE PITCH


ATLANTA -- The Braves have been without slugging catcher Evan Gattis just when he's been needed the most.

Gattis has been out since Sept. 7 with strep throat. He missed the three-game series at Washington and the four-game series in Texas. He was out of the lineup again on Monday when the Braves opened a three-game set against Washington.

"He went to see the doctors again (Monday)," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Gattis has provided a dependable bat, most often in the No. 5 spot, in the order. He provided cover for cleanup hitter Justin Upton.

In 102 games, Gattis is batting .270 with a career-high 22 homers and 52 RBIs. His .507 slugging percentage is tops on the club. His season includes a 20-game hitting streak.

"We're trying to get him in to see all the doctors," Gonzalez said. "He's trying to find out why it's lingering."

It's the second extended absence for Gattis this season. He missed 17 games with a bulging thoracic disk in his back in July.

With Gattis unavailable, the Braves have been using veteran Gerald Laird and rookie Christian Bethancourt.

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 75-74

STREAK: Lost three

NEXT: Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark, 13-10, 2.96 ERA) at Braves (RHP Aaron Harang, 11-10, 3.72 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Aaron Harang has been difficult for Washington to handle this year. The hard-throwing veteran is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in three starts against the Nats. Harang has struck out 16 and walked three in 20 innings against Washington this season. He's 3-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 12 career starts against Washington.

--RHP Ervin Santana (14-9) scattered three hits and walked two in six innings, but was again victimized by lack of run support. Santana struck out six, leaving him two shy of 1,500 for his career. Santana suffered his first home loss since June 17.

--1B Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first inning. It's the third time Freeman has had a double-digit hitting streak. His career best was 20 games in 2011. Freeman is batting .350 during the streak and is hitting .470 in 17 games against Washington this season. Freeman was also ejected for the first time this season.

--C Christian Bethancourt threw out a would-be base stealer for the first time when he gunned out Nate Schierholtz in the seventh inning. Bethancourt also had two hits, his fourth multi-hit game, and is batting .321 since being recalled on Sept. 2.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've never seen him pitch bad against us. The kid's been darn good every time we've seen him. He's a guy we respect and he's been a good pitcher for them." -- Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez, after Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg threw seven scoreless innings to help Washington defeat the Braves Monday.

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MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - ROSTER REPORT


MEDICAL WATCH:

--C Evan Gattis (strep throat) sat out Sept. 8-15. He is day-to-day.

--LHP Jonny Venters (tear of the UCL in left elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He stopped his first live batting practice session May 14 after 10 pitches because of soreness. He experienced soreness during a May 25 bullpen session, and he was diagnosed with a breakup of scar tissue. The soreness lingered into mid-June, when he received a platelet-rich plasma injection. He resumed throwing July 18. He played catch from 120 feet July 26. He began throwing off a mound in mid-August but was shut down again Aug. 26 and was diagnosed with another tear of the UCL in his left elbow on Aug. 28. It is the third career tear for Venters, who had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and 2013.

--RHP Shae Simmons (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 27. He threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Aug. 12 without issue. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Aug. 16, but he was shut down Aug. 20 after feeling soreness. He had yet to return to a mound of as Sept. 6. He is unlikely to return this season.

--RHP Gavin Floyd (fractured right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list June 20, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31. He underwent surgery June 24 to insert screws in the elbow.

--RHP Cory Gearrin (ligament damage in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 2. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery April 15.

--RHP Kris Medlen (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 26. He will miss the entire season.

--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He will miss the entire season.

ROTATION:

RHP Julio Teheran

RHP Aaron Harang

RHP Ervin Santana

LHP Mike Minor

LHP Alex Wood

BULLPEN:

RHP Craig Kimbrel (closer)

RHP David Hale

RHP Anthony Varvaro

RHP Jordan Walden

RHP David Carpenter

LHP Luis Avilan

LHP James Russell

RHP Juan Jaime

LHP Chasen Shreve

RHP Gus Schlosser

CATCHERS:

Evan Gattis

Gerald Laird

Christian Bethancourt

C/OF Ryan Doumit

INFIELDERS:

1B Freddie Freeman

2B Tommy La Stella

SS Andrelton Simmons

3B Chris Johnson

INF Ramiro Pena

INF Phil Gosselin

INF/OF Joey Terdoslavich

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Justin Upton

CF B.J. Upton

RF Jason Heyward

OF/INF Emilio Bonifacio

OF Jose Constanza