We'll jump right into some of the more interesting tidbits that Fredi Gonzalez gave to Atlanta's beat writers today at the Winter Meetings. First off was the revelation that Fredi, who saw the light late last season, will continue to hit Jason Heyward in the leadoff spot. That's great news, as he did a fantastic job getting on base last season when healthy.
Next was the fairly unsurprising announcement that Evan Gattis would be given the starting catcher job for Atlanta. Mark Bowman notes that Laird could get more backup time than normal, probably because they don't want to subject Gattis to the rigors of a full season behind the plate after being a part-time player last year.
Fredi called Gattis this week to tell him he would be his regular catcher. There's a chance Laird could see more time than the normal backup
Fredi called Gattis this week to tell him he would be his regular catcher. There's a chance Laird could see more time than the normal backup— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 10, 2013
Fredi also spoke briefly on B.J. Upton, saying he'll start taking team batting practice in a few weeks. Here's to hoping that having some time during the offseason to clear his head will help.
Asked about bringing back Eric O'Flaherty, Fredi seemed optimistic, but nothing is set in stone right now.
He also mentioned that the team may try and sign a "veteran" for the bench, though he sounds optimistic that some of the younger guys in the clubhouse will step up into leadership roles.