7/12/2014 4:45 P.M. ET
Bethancourt successful staying true to approach
By John Jackson / Special to MLB.com
CHICAGO -- When starting catcher Evan Gattis was injured late in June, the Braves called up Christian Bethancourt, hoping the rookie could provide steady defense behind the dish and sprinkle in a hit now and then.
Bethancourt has done more than that. Heading into Saturday's game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the 22-year-old had gone 11-for-40 for a .275 average and had reached base in nine of his 10 starts.
He also has delivered a couple of clutch hits, the latest being a two-out single in the top of the ninth on Friday to tie the score at 4. That hit was overshadowed by the Cubs' rally in the bottom of the inning, but the Braves certainly took notice.
"He sure does look composed at the plate," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He had the tying run up there in the ninth inning and he delivered. I'm happy for him, and I'm happy with the way he called the game."
Bethancourt said his approach in the ninth on Friday was just to buckle down.
"In that situation, you have to do whatever you can to try and bring that run in," he said. "That's what I was trying to do. I was trying to make good contact with the ball."
Even though making the Major Leagues is a big deal for him -- as it would be for any young player -- Bethancourt said he's tried to not focus on the big picture too much.
"These are the things I've been doing my whole career, calling the pitches, controlling the game and getting a hit whenever I can," he said. "Just keep it simple, don't get too much under pressure and just do your job."
Gattis' first workout encouraging
CHICAGO -- The update the Braves received on catcher Evan Gattis following Friday's workout was encouraging. Gattis (bulging disk in lower back) did more than expected at the organization's Class A affiliate in Rome, Ga.
"He took some dry swings, started with some dry swings, hit some tee, flips and was able to take some [batting practice] on the field,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He ran around, played some catch and he'll do the same thing [Saturday].
"We'll keep ramping him up that way."
Originally, Gattis was just expected to take some dry swings and maybe hit off the tee. Some have wondered why Gattis is working out with the Minor League team instead of with the Braves in Chicago, but Gonzalez said the reason is simple: Wrigley Field doesn't have the necessary facilities.
"You've got one batting cage, the training room is tiny and you've got 25 other guys," he said. "You can't do all that stuff."
If Gattis makes it through the weekend without any issues, he could begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday.
• MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported the Braves have signed Cuban catcher Yenier Bello to a Minor League contract. Bello, who had been playing in the Mexican League, has finally resolved his visa issues and will report to the Braves' Spring Training facility.
Gonzalez didn't know about the signing, but said: "I'm looking forward to seeing him. I've talked to [GM] Frank [Wren] about him."
• Right fielder Jason Heyward had two hits Friday and Gonzalez is happy with the way he's swinging the bat of late.
"Jason has had some pretty good at-bats here in the last five or six games," Gonzalez said. "He had a couple of good at-bats in New York and then two good balls into left-center [Friday]. They looked like they were hit by right-handed hitters. I'm glad he's coming around."
• As the Cubs celebrated following Justin Ruggiano's walk-off single on Friday, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was down on the field and not moving after diving to try to stop the base hit.
"I'm not gonna lie to you: it scared me," Gonzalez said. "The game was over and I'm looking up and he's still laying on the ground. He kind of fell in an awkward position, but he said he just got the wind knocked out of him. Good for us. We dodged a bullet there."
Simmons started at shortstop and batted second on Saturday.
John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.