McCann sees progress, says Friday return possible

MIAMI – Fifteen days isn’t a lot of time to heal a strained oblique muscle, but the Braves’ Brian McCann thinks he could be ready Friday, the first day he’s eligible to come off the disabled list.

The All-Star catcher took batting practice before Monday’s series opener against Florida at Sun Life Stadium, the first time McCann’s done anything more than light hitting since injuring the oblique in his left side on July 26.

“It felt fine; it felt exactly how I thought it would,” said McCann, who took controlled swings and hit several drives to the power alleys, but no tape-measure homers. “I didn’t try to swing as hard as I could. But I was pleased with how the ball was coming off my bat.

“It’s my first time really swinging more than 50 percent, so I didn’t want to let it go. I felt really good swinging the bat as far as hitting the sweet spot and hitting line drives.”

On Tuesday he plans to do catching drills, including blocking balls and throwing to bases. He was injured making an off-balance throw to second base to try to throw out a base-stealer.

“Yesterday to today was such a good jump,” said McCann, who had done light hitting and throwing Sunday in New York. “The throwing motion was the only thing I was worried about, and I’m going to do everything in my power to do that. If I feel like I can play and not hurt myself further, I’m 100 percent going to be [ready].

“Hopefully tomorrow is a big day, man. Because if I can do that, I’ll probably head out Wednesday and play somewhere.”

McCann said if he is cleared to play minor-league rehab games Wednesday and Thursday, it’s possible he could rejoin the Braves on Friday.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez seemed apprehensive about sending McCann out to catch so soon on a rehab assignment. Gonzalez said he wanted McCann to work on blocking balls in the bullpen, but couldn’t do that Monday on the hard, rubberized surface in the Florida stadium bullpen.

The manager said he’d see about getting use of the playing field for about 20 minutes before batting practice Tuesday.

McCann threw again from a distance of about 100 feet in the outfield, and said he didn’t have discomfort he’d felt doing that Sunday.

McCann said he’ll ramp up the intensity Tuesday and get a better idea whether he’s ready to begin a rehab assignment with an eye toward returning for the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.

“Today was a big jump from yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow will be a big jump from today,” he said. “I just want to be smart with it. I want to listen to my body, not do anything to have a setback. I feel like I could go up there and hit right now, and hold my own and help this team win. So if I can do everything without a chance of hurting myself, I’m going to get back in there.”

At the time of his injury, McCann led or shared the team lead in average (.306), home runs (18) and RBIs (55). He hit .319 with 12 homers and 25 RBIs in his last 38 games before going on the DL. He still was tied for the team RBI lead before Monday.

Veteran backup catcher David Ross hit .162 (6-for-37) with one homer and five RBIs in 12 games since McCann’s injury.

24 comments Add your comment

SB75

August 8th, 2011
7:57 pm

SB75

August 8th, 2011
7:57 pm

Good news on Mac.

South Georgia Boy

August 8th, 2011
8:11 pm

Hope McCann doesn’t rush it. Would rather he stay out another week than reinjure it.

BravesfaninWis

August 8th, 2011
8:14 pm

Derek Lowe is f’n pathetic. Giving up hits to opposing pitchers, walking in runs. This POS is washed up, over rated, DONE!!!! I can’t stand a useless pitcher like himself that gets paid that insane amount of money a year just f everything up. I hate him with a passion and can’t wait for the day that he is no longer wearing a Braves jersey. That day can’t some soon enough.

BravesfaninWis

August 8th, 2011
8:17 pm

Every time this POS pitches, the Braves offense is going to have to get at least 6 runs. If they stay at the 4 they have now, they will lose this game.

NorCal Brave

August 8th, 2011
8:22 pm

Lowe has been awful, but certainly no worse than Hanson of late. Gotta be concerned about strength of the entire starting staff except for Hudson.

McFann O O Get Well Soon, BMac!!!

August 8th, 2011
8:27 pm

That’d be SWEET if BMac could come back as soon as he’s ready…but I SO do NOT want him to push too hard and hurt it again…

But he’s not stupid.

South Georgia Boy

August 8th, 2011
8:28 pm

I think Beachy has more upside than Hanson. Tommy’s delivery and motion is just a little too different.

Braves fan in NY

August 8th, 2011
8:36 pm

Id rather stick a needle in m,y eye than watch Derrick Blowe pitch

retired

August 8th, 2011
8:51 pm

got 7 get off Lowe’s case. lol

Pete

August 8th, 2011
8:53 pm

Saturday’s game when the Braves lost 7-11 is the first time this season the Braves lost a game in which they scored 7 runs or more.

Bruce

August 8th, 2011
9:08 pm

Great news on Mac!

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

wayn-o

August 9th, 2011
1:43 am

DOB you posted the article twice

wjones

August 9th, 2011
7:10 am

“Braves fan in NY

August 8th, 2011
8:36 pm
Id rather stick a needle in m,y eye than watch Derrick Blowe pitch”

I agree. I’d rather stick a needle in your eye than watch Lowe pitch as well.

Love how it took six hours for someone to notice that the article was posted twice.

Gimpah

August 9th, 2011
7:25 am

Hopefully McError will return, throw a ball into center field, and go down in a heap!

ChillyMutt

August 9th, 2011
9:47 am

Good news. I would think that his off season/all around conditioning program has something to do with this. His body looks dramatically different than when he first arrived in Atlanta.

[...] took batting practice yesterday for the first time since suffering the injury on July 26 and told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “it felt fine … it felt exactly how I thought [...]

BravesWin

August 9th, 2011
12:14 pm

Whereas Beachy’s delivery is smooth and deceptive, Hanson hitches and telegraphs. Tommy has great stuff, but someone needs to address that with him.

Brave New World

August 9th, 2011
3:17 pm

I think Tommy Hanson is trying to pitch through some pain. In his last outing he looked like he was a “Home Run Derby” pitcher, holding the ball aloft before serving up fastballs with little movement. He is too good a pitcher to blow a 3 run lead unless he is not 100% physically. We’ll see…

bravemom

August 9th, 2011
3:32 pm

In defense of Lowe, that walk was really a strikeout. He looked a lot better to me last night.

Fan since 1977

August 9th, 2011
3:36 pm

Don’t rush it, B-Mac, we need you down the stretch. That said, I hope today’s throwing session is pain free, because I’d be lying if I said we would all love to see you hitting in front of Freeman and Uggla ASAP – man will you see some strikes.

I agree completely with Brave New World re: Hanson, think he needs to sit and let Minor take his next turn. Something’s not right.

Fan since 1977

August 9th, 2011
3:37 pm

sorry meant “wouldn’t”

Chris White

August 9th, 2011
6:14 pm

Can’t wait until B Mac is back in the lineup, The bats are on and the addition of his bat is going to be huge

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