Brian McCann left last night’s game against the Pirates after five innings with what was described as an intercostal muscle strain in his right side.
McCann missed a little over two weeks last July with a strained left oblique muscle and wasn’t nearly the same player upon his return, but he told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he doesn’t think this injury is as severe. While he’s scheduled to be reevaluated today, he’ll likely sit out the next couple of games.
“Just want to be smart about things and make sure I make this a day or two or three thing instead of a DL stint,” McCann said. “Just precautionary reasons. We wanted to make sure it heals up.”
McCann, 28, is batting .250/.300/.422 with three homers, nine RBI and a .722 OPS over 70 plate appearances this season. Quality backup David Ross will fill in until he is ready to return to the lineup.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.