Since his October shoulder surgery procedure, Brian McCann has been itching to get back on the field to prove all his doubters wrong that he is still a top catcher in the league. After his somewhat down season in 2012, many “experts” believed McCann had past his prime seasons and couldn’t preform at the level he once did. With the six games back already in 2013, Brian looks to be on a mission to put a sock in their mouths!
Ok, from 2006 to 2011 McCann had pretty outstanding years in Atlanta making the All-Star team in those consecutive years…he hit at least .269 batting average with the lowest on base percentage being .320. In those years he belted 131 home runs and drove in 514 runs. He’s been the catalyst for the Braves playing in at least 128 games each year (averaged 137 games a year in the six year span).
But last season (2012) McCann sustained an injury to his throwing shoulder at some point during the season and his numbers declined….depending on who your talking to. B-Mac played his way through the pain in 121 games for the Braves managing to hit .230 (a career low) and an on base percentage of .300 (a career low as well). However, he did hit 20 home runs and drove in 67 RBI’s. True, McCann didn’t put up his career numbers in 2012 but most teams would of taken those numbers from their catcher.
Now healthy, McCann has come back to the Braves lineup at a terrific time. Atlanta was in dire need of a boast of some sort offensively to get the team going again and I believe B-Mac was the perfect man for the job. Since returning off the DL, McCann has batted 5-11 with runners on base adding two home runs, four walks and only one strikeout. He’s already contributed to 10 RBI’s off seven hits. B-Mac is batting .333 through six games with a .423 on base percentage.
Not only is his stick welcoming to the lineup, I believe having him behind the plate has added that spark back to the rotation. Evan Gattis has been a tremendous asset to our team, lineup, behind the plate, versatility, fan presence…everything!…But he isn’t Brian McCann. B-Mac calls a better game and did anyone else see the throw down to second to get Didi Gonzalez out last night? Brian still has the arm strength!
It’s great to see Brian McCann healthy and back in our lineup. I believe last nights offensive outburst are things to come for Atlanta. That 1-8 hitters should be putting 10 runs up on the board….and don’t forget about Jason Heyward hopefully returning on Friday!