ATLANTA -- Another pain-free day of batting practice and other baseball activities for catcher Evan Gattis has the Braves optimistic he could return for the start of the team's first series after the All-Star break against the White Sox. Gattis will begin his Minor League rehab assignment on Friday as the designated hitter for Triple-A Gwinnett in the team's series opener at Durham.
"He felt great, he threw great," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said before Thursday's game. "He's done this for a couple of days now. We'll send him out and try to get him as many games as he needs before next Friday. We'll have a plan."
The Braves planned to give Gattis between three and six Minor League rehab starts over the next week, depending on how much game action the rookie slugger needs to return to full strength.
"We'll go day by day," Gonzalez said. "He may only need three games and he'll take the All-Star break off or maybe he says, 'You know what, I feel good, but my timing's not there.' We have places where he can play other than on Tuesday, get him some more games."
Gattis has been on the disabled list with a right oblique strain since June 18 after he tightened up after a big swing in the previous night's game against the Mets.
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.