Friday, February 8, 2013
Impact of McCann's timetable
By Jason A. Churchill
The Atlanta Braves are among the favorites in the National League this coming season, but they'll apparently have to start the schedule without starting catcher Brian McCann, the backstop told the media Thursday. The early expectation is that McCann is likely to miss just a couple of weeks, but if it drags on into May, how well the club covers for such a loss will become more and more important.
In the short-term the Braves are likely to go with veteran Gerald Laird and prospect Christian Bethancourt. If they fear McCann may miss a more significant chunk of time, the Braves could check in on free agents Matt Treanor, Rod Barajas and Koyie Hill.
McCann's injuries are coming at the worst time for both team and player. The roster has been upgraded with the addition of the Upton brothers and Atlanta appears poised to challenge or surpass the 95-win mark and make another playoff appearance. With a healthy McCann, which they did not have when they reached 94 victories a year ago, their chances are certainly greater to do some damage in October.
It's also McCann's free agent year and at age 29 the former all-star needs a healthy season to drive his value in the right direction.