Brian McCann homers twice in first rehab game

7 Comments

Brian McCann is expected to spend around two weeks on his minor league rehab assignment as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, but his bat might be ready right now.

According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, McCann homered in each of his first two at-bats last night in his first rehab game with Class A Rome. He drew two walks and ground into a double play in his other three plate appearances. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that he made two throwing errors in six innings behind the plate, so perhaps his arm is a bit behind his bat at this point.

The current plan calls for McCann to play five games with Rome before reporting to Triple-A Gwinnett late next week to play what will likely be another five games. Barring any setbacks, he could be activated from the disabled list sometime during the week of May 6.

McCann might not be ready for a full workload right out of the gate, so the Braves should still be able to find at-bats for Evan Gattis after his impressive showing this month. Ultimately, it’s a pretty nice problem to have.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

Al Bello/Getty Images
3 Comments

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.