ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves are 13-6 in the games Evan Gattis missed, but they know that they are a lot more dangerous team with the slugging catcher in the lineup.
Sidelined since injuring his back June 27, Gattis likely will come off the disabled list Monday.
"I expect him to be here and in the lineup," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
That would beat the early estimated recovery time of at least four weeks, but the real news was that the powerful right-handed hitter was able to avoid potential surgery on a bulging disk.
Gattis played four rehab games with Triple-A Gwinnett, going 3-for-16. On Sunday, he went 2-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs. He caught Friday and Saturday and was the designated hitter in the first and fourth game of the series against Durham.
Gattis had just one hit before Sunday, but the Braves knew it would take a few games for him to get his timing back at the plate. He struck out seven times in the four-game series.
Gattis was hitting .290 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 63 games for Atlanta when he hurt his back on a swing. Included was a 20-game hitting streak.
Rookie Christian Bethancourt started 13 of the 19 games Gattis missed, and he played well. He is expected to be sent back to Gwinnett, though, so he can play every day.
Bethancourt hit .240 with a double and three RBIs, reaching base safely in 11 games.
Gerald Laird is entrenched as the Braves' backup catcher, and he will again serve as the No. 2 backup once Gattis is activated.