The Atlanta Braves should have two big pieces returning to their roster right after the All-Star break. Rookie power-hitter Evan Gattis and speedy outfielder Jordan Schafer are expected to return for games immediately after the mid-season exhibition game.
Gattis traveled with the Braves to Philadelphia and Miami and has done light workouts. Those include soft-toss hitting and some bullpen catching. He is expected to start taking batting practice no later than this weekend at Turner Field as he continues rehabbing his right oblique strain.
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Schafer has been on the DL with a severely bruised right ankle suffered when he fouled a ball into the area during a game. He started light running yesterday and appeared to be moving well.
The Braves have struggled without their two best bench players. Gattis was great coming off the bench in key, late game situations, and Schafer is leading the Braves in on-base-percentage and stolen bases.
Should the Braves continue to be inconsistent offensively, both Gattis and Schafer could assume significantly larger roles in the second half of the season.
The Braves will conclude their series against the Marlins this afternoon at 12:40, then head home for a big 4-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.