Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis turned in a career year in 2015, but he underwent hernia surgery on Tuesday, according to the team.

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Gattis to Miss ‘Most’ of Spring Training

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle confirmed Gattis had hernia surgery but noted “the injury is not considered severe.” Drellich also said the expected recovery time is four to six weeks and that Gattis will miss “most of his spring training at a minimum.”

Drellich added Gattis suffered the injury working out at Minute Maid Park about a week prior to surgery. 

Houston’s first full workout is Feb. 23.  

Gattis spent the first two seasons of his career with the Atlanta Braves, but they traded him to the Astros before the 2015 campaign. All he did for the Astros was post a .246 batting average with 27 home runs and 88 RBI. It was his third season in the league and his third year topping the 20-homer plateau, but his total of 27 last season was a career-high mark.

Gattis also racked up 11 triples, which was certainly surprising for someone who only had one career three-bagger coming into 2015. The 6’4” and 260-pound slugger has yet to register a single stolen base as well.

Despite the impressive production, Drellich pointed out Gattis and the Astros were “far apart” on their proposed arbitration numbers heading toward a Feb. 16 hearing. Houston proposed a $3 million salary for 2016, while Gattis countered with $3.8 million.

Drellich called the hernia update “a new wrinkle” in the process, and it will likely help the Astros on the business side of things. Even though Gattis doesn’t have much big league experience since he entered the majors in 2013, he will turn 30 years old in 2016 and now has health concerns as an additional factor to consider.

Drellich said it is “unclear how significantly” the surgery will impact the arbitration, but it is not a stretch to say it gives the Astros more leverage in any negotiations.

Still, Gattis was a major part of a Houston offense that finished sixth in the major leagues in total runs in 2015 on the way to a wild-card berth in the American League. The Astros lost a heartbreaking five-game series in the divisional round to the eventual champion Kansas City Royals.

If Houston plans on advancing deeper into the playoffs this time around, it needs Gattis back and healthy in that potent lineup alongside Jose Altuve.

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