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Brian McCann announces retirement from baseball

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Following the Braves’ disappointing 13-1 loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS, catcher Brian McCann announced his retirement from baseball, Kelsey Wingert of Fox Sports South reports.

McCann, 35, went 3-for-16 during the NLDS. The veteran spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Braves before joining the Yankees for three seasons followed by two in Houston, winning a championship in 2017. Across his 15 years in the big leagues, McCann posted a .789 OPS while racking up 282 home runs and 1,018 RBI.

After the Astros declined to pick up his 2019 club option, McCann rejoined the Braves for the 2019 season on a one-year, $2 million contract. Splitting time with Tyler Flowers behind the plate, McCann hit .249/.323/.412 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI in 316 plate appearances.

Happy trails to McCann as he heads off into post-baseball-playing life.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.