Brian McCann hasn’t been his usual self since coming off DL


His overall numbers look as strong as always, but Braves catcher Brian McCann has struggled mightily since returning from the disabled list in mid-August.

McCann was hitting .303 with an .879 OPS when he was placed on the DL with an oblique strain, but as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution notes he’s hitting just .167 with 26 strikeouts in 30 games since coming off the shelf.

He’s just 18-for-108 during that time, although six of those hits have been homers and McCann has also drawn 18 walks. However, producing a .632 OPS for five weeks can certainly be tossed into the growing pile of Braves worries as they cling to a 2.5-game lead in the Wild Card race.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.