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Brian McCann will throw out first pitch before first game of World Series

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that recently retired catcher Brian McCann will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday in Houston. He will be caught by former teammate and fellow backstop Evan Gattis.

McCann and Gattis were teammates with the Astros in 2017 and ’18. The Astros won a championship in 2017, McCann’s first year with the team.

McCann, a seven-time All-Star, signed a one-year deal with the Braves for this season after the Astros declined his 2019 club option. Meanwhile, Gattis did not receive much interest on the free agent market and ended up sitting out the season.

Rome notes that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.