Braves first base coach (and former hitting instructor) Terry Pendelton spoke to the New York Post about former Braves catcher Brian McCann and his struggles thus far as a New York Yankee:
“New York is not Brian. That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that . . . If I had to choose where he went, nothing against the Yankees, they’re one of the best organizations around, but I think he’d be more comfortable in Texas. But he wants to win and when he looks at that, you’ve got to go to the Yankees.”
Well, before this season started it wouldn’t have been crazy to pick the Rangers over the Yankees if you really wanted to win, but we’ll let that go. What we probably shouldn’t let go is Pendleton’s extended comments — provided later in that article — about McCann being a total pull hitter now but never having really been one before, and about how that’s killing him. Which, suffice it to say, is kind of in bad form for a player not on your team, I would think.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.