Brian McCann has been limited to pinch-hitting duties since tweaking his right hamstring on September 12 and Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves catcher won’t return to the starting lineup “for at least a couple of more days.”
The good news is that he’s feeling better. The bad news is that McCann explained that “it’s still hard to move laterally” and “it’d be hard to block a ball and it’d be hard to move behind the plate.”
Atlanta has one of the league’s best backup catchers in David Ross, who’s hit .255 with seven homers in 173 plate appearances while posting an OPS above .760 for the fourth consecutive season.
McCann has played 112 games so far this season and his previous career-low was 128 games last year, before which he’d appeared in at least 130 games from 2006-2010.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.