From MLB.com beat reporter Mark Bowman:
Brian McCann returned to Turner Field on Tuesday to take batting practice and interact with some of his Braves teammates for the first time since the end of Spring Training. If the remainder of his rehab assignment goes well through the end of this week, McCann could be back in Atlanta’s lineup for next week’s series in Cincinnati.
That three-game series against the Reds gets underway next Monday, May 6 at Great American Ball Park.
“I’ll be ready,” McCann told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Where I’m at right now, I feel really good.”
Atlanta is expected to keep Evan Gattis around as a bench bat. He could even see action in the outfield.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.