PHILADELPHIA -- Evan Gattis is as deserving an All-Star selection as any other catcher in the National League from an offensive standpoint, but it should not be overlooked how far he's come as a catcher.
"There's a lot of responsibility for a guy that's never done this much catching ever," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's up into the 60s in catching games. I think the most he's ever caught in the Minor Leagues was 44, 43 games. And we ask him to hit in the middle of the lineup."
With Gattis as their primary backstop, Braves pitchers have accumulated the fourth-best ERA (3.34) in the National League entering Friday night's game. He has been effective blocking balls behind the plate, and Gonzalez thinks, from a defensive standpoint, Gattis' "whole game" has improved this season.
"[Especially] for a big guy. Remember how big he is," Gonzalez said. "Gattis is what, 6-3, 260 I think he's listed as? You don't see that behind the plate. That's a big man moving around back there. Almost Carlton Fisk-like. And so it takes a lot of effort, but I think he's done a terrific job. I think he's done a terrific job calling games."
Atlanta's pitching staff has compiled 10 shutouts this year, and Gattis has been behind the plate for the entirety of six of them.
"I owe him like six steak dinners because I told him that every time he catches a shutout, I'll buy him dinner," Gonzalez said. "Pretty soon I'll buy him a cow."
On Friday, Gattis was forced out of the game with right rhomboid spasms. However, it does not appear to be a very serious injury as he is listed as day-to-day.
Gattis came in at fourth among NL catchers in the most recent All-Star Game balloting, trailing Cardinal and leading vote-getter Yadier Molina by more than 1.5 million votes.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Gattis leaves with back spasms, listed as day-to-day
PHILADELPHIA -- Before Friday night's Braves-Phillies game, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said that the chemistry between pitcher Julio Teheran and catcher Evan Gattis wouldn't be an issue. He was right for the wrong reason.
Gattis left Friday night's contest with a right rhomboid spasm before he could catch a pitch from Teheran. The Braves slugger struck out in the top of the first inning before Gerald Laird replaced him in the bottom half.
The rhomboid muscles are located in the upper back, connecting the inner edges of the shoulders to the spine.
In the final pitch of Gattis' at-bat, he winced as he whiffed on a changeup from Kyle Kendrick.
"It was just that one swing. On the changeup. I had pretty good spasms," Gattis said. "Got treatment all game, so we'll see how it is tomorrow."
Gattis is listed as day-to-day and Gonzalez is optimistic he will avoid a stint on the disabled list.
"If he DLs, it's going to be 15 days without him. And [head trainer Jeff Porter] doesn't seem to think it's going to be that long. So we're not thinking about that move right now," Gonzalez said.
"[Porter] assured me that this could clear up in the next day or two."
Schlosser to get called up for doubleheader
PHILADELPHIA -- Major League Baseball allows teams to call up a 26th man for doubleheaders, so the Braves will recall right-hander Gus Schlosser from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday.
"We'll use him whenever we need to use him," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If the first game goes 15 innings, 18 innings, we'll use him there."
The 25-year-old made the Opening Day roster, but was sent back down after posting a 4.91 ERA in 11 innings. Schlosser went 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 10 starts for Gwinnett.
"He went down there and started. So he could throw a lot of pitches for us," Gonzalez said. "But if we have two great starts, I hope I don't even have to use him."
Amid struggles, La Stella given day off
PHILADELPHIA -- After his fifth straight hitless game on Thursday, Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella was given a day off on Friday night.
"I thought it was good timing to kind of let him relax a little bit," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's played every game since he's been up here. And I think it's time to give him a little breather. Let him sit back and watch a Major League game."
Through his first 26 big league games, the 25-year-old has hit .271 with eight RBIs and six runs in 96 at-bats.
"[Saturday], we'll run him back out there in the No. 2 hole. We'll go back to the normal lineup," Gonzalez said.
Meanwhile, Dan Uggla took La Stella's spot on the diamond on Friday night and batted eighth.
"He's got great numbers in [Citizens Bank Park] and he handles [Phillies starter Kyle] Kendrick pretty good," Gonzalez said of Uggla.
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.