Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

Brian McCann likely to begin minor league rehab assignment Friday

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As Aaron mentioned earlier this morning, Brian McCann has maintained all along that he was hoping to return from the disabled list as soon as he is eligible on Friday.

It was probably a little on the optimistic side considering that oblique strains usually sideline players for far longer, so it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the Braves have decided to go the conservative route. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that McCann will likely wait until Friday to begin a minor league rehab assignment.

McCann just took batting practice for the first time yesterday, so the prospect of playing in a rehab game as soon as tomorrow was probably pushing it a bit. If he does indeed begin his rehab assignment Friday, he will likely be activated on Sunday or Monday, instead. Still, we’re talking about a pretty rapid turnaround from an oblique injury.

McCann, 27, is batting .306/.375/.514 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI over 373 plate appearances this season. He is currently tied with J.P. Arencibia and Mike Napoli for home run lead among MLB catchers while only Napoli has a higher OPS.

The Nationals acquire Marc Rzepczynski from the Athletics

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25:  Marc Rzepczynski #35 of the Oakland Athletics throws against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.

Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.

On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.

 

Video: Minor leaguer dives over the wall to rob a home run

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Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.

Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: