Miami – Brian McCann was out of the lineup Thursday night against the Marlins after straining his right quadriceps muscle running the bases the night before. But the Braves catcher and cleanup hitter thought he might only have to miss one day.
He said he was available to pinch hit Thursday in the series finale against the Marlins.
“I don’t think it’s going to be anything other than today,” McCann said Thursday afternoon before going to do some light jogging, then hitting in the indoor batting cage.
Manager Bobby Cox might choose to give McCann a little longer, as he often does, saying “maybe” when it was suggested McCann might only miss one game.
McCann injured his quadriceps running between first and second base on Yunel Escobar’s fly out in the fourth inning Wednesday night. He thinks he caught it before a “tweak” turned into a “pull.” He stayed in the game until coming out for a pinch runner in the seventh.
“I’m almost lucky that I didn’t have to air it out (on Escobar’s ball),” McCann said. “I’m almost glad the ball didn’t get over his head. It wouldn’t have been good if I had to sprint once it grabbed. I stopped as soon as it grabbed.”
With McCann out, Cox started left fielder Eric Hinske in the cleanup spot, where he’d started one other time this season, going 1-for-3 with three RBIS on April 16 against the Rockies.
Cox also moved Melky Cabrera into center field in place of Nate McLouth. McLouth has hit only 1-for-17 (.058) in his last five games, while Cabrera had hit .444 (8-for-18) in his past eight games entering Thursday, including a two-hit game against the Marlins Wednesday night.
“Melky is swinging the bat really good right now,” Cox said. “Let him play back-to-back games. He’s starting to hit the ball harder.”