Brian McCann homers twice in first rehab game

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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.

The Rays acquire reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox

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The White Sox have traded multiple relievers recently. They just traded another, sending lefty Dan Jennings to the Rays for first baseman Casey Gillaspie.

Jennings has a 3.45 ERA and a 38/19 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely serve as a setup man with Tampa Bay. He’s more than a rental, as he’s under team control for two more years.

Gillaspie, 24, is hitting .227/.296/.357 with nine home runs in 395 plate appearances at Triple-A. He hit much better in 2016 at Triple-A, however, and made it on some top-100 prospects lists. What the White Sox’ plans for him are with Jose Abreu around, however, are unclear.

The Braves send Dansby Swanson to Triple-A

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The Atlanta Braves have optioned shortstop Dansby Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett.

It was a move that was a long time coming. It was probably overdue. Swanson had been relegated to a backup role since the All-Star break, and him neither (a) contributing to the club; or (b) getting regular work in order to develop as a player, was the least optimal of situations.

Swanson has had a down, momentarily up, and then down again season. He batted .156 in April and .216 in May. He rebounded in June, batting .306, but his July has been a nightmare in which he has gone 6-for-48 with only five walks. He has started just six of the Braves 13 games since the All-Star break, losing time to Johan Camargo.

Swanson, 23, jumped from Double-A to the big club in August of last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS over 38 games. That earned him the shortstop job heading into 2017, but he’s obviously in need of either more seasoning or, at the very least, some time to clear his head, because he’s not getting the job done.