UPDATE: So much for McCann potentially coming off the disabled list early next week, as manager Fredi Gonzalez told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that the plan is for his minor-league rehab stint to last at least 10 games.
Brian McCann had to put his rehab from shoulder surgery on hold because of a wrist injury, but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves catcher is feeling good enough to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight.
McCann will be in the lineup for high Single-A Rome and it sounds like the plan is for him to play there all weekend before potentially coming off the disabled list as soon as Monday.
McCann and the Braves have been targeting May 1 as a return date, which would be Wednesday, so it’s possible they’ll ask the catcher to put in a little more time in the minors. McCann hit just .219 with a .653 OPS in the second half last season while playing through the shoulder pain, finishing with a career-worst .698 OPS after four straight seasons above .800.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.