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Astros Option Gattis to Minors to Catch

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Astros have sent designated-hitter Evan Gattis to the minors to ramp up catching duty.

Kevin D. Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season there were talks of Evan Gattis again donning the tools of ignorance for the Astros. However, the hernia surgery prevented Evan Gattis from doing that during Spring Training as his only action was just getting ready for the season.

Now, the time has officially come. The Astros announced that they have optioned Gattis to the Double-A Corpus Christi where he'll get full-time catching duty so he can work back into it.

As an added bonus, this will give him additional at-bats that he was splitting with Preston Tucker at the major league level. El Oso Blanco's numbers at the plate have been down some this season and can be reasonably attributed to the diminished ramp up time he had due to his surgery rehab.

The Astros back-up catching situation hasn't been very good with Max Stassi also undergoing the knife for a hammate injury during the spring and with poor performance from Eric Kratz. This will provide a unique opportunity for the Astros to possibly get some improved performance down the road from the catcher position.

Gates appears to be on board with the move and told MLB.com's Chris Abshire

"I'm on board with it," Gattis said. "I think it's going to be good for my future. I love to catch, and it's where I feel comfortable on the field."

Left-handed reliever Tony Sipp, who was recently placed on paternity leave, will be activated to fill the roster spot.