A three-week hitting binge before the break helped earn Brian McCann a spot as an injury replacement on the National League All-Star team, and the Braves catcher said he felt ready to resume his surge.
“I feel as good as I did before (the break),” McCann said before Friday night’s interleague series opener against the White Sox. “I’m excited about the second half.”
He went 25-for-61 (.410) with six doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs in his last 16 games before the All-Star break, with a .464 OBP and only eight strikeouts in that span. He showed no lingering rust or other ill effects of the October shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the season.
McCann had a .291 average, 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 53 games before Friday. Among major league catchers who had at least 200 plate appearances, his .910 on-base-plus-slugging percentage ranked second to Buster Posey’s .931, and McCann and Posey were tied for the highest slugging percentage (.536).
As the third catcher on an All-Star team that included Posey and Yadier Molina, McCann knew there was a chance he wouldn’t play in Tuesday’s All-Star game. He didn’t, the first time in his seven All-Star games that he didn’t see any action.
“What makes those games is sitting in the clubhouse, talking to the guys that you play against every day,” he said.
Braves rotation plans: The Braves switched the rotation order of Kris Medlen and Julio Teheran, with Teheran moving up to the fourth spot coming out of the break and Medlen dropping to No. 5.
With rookie left-hander Alex Wood sent back to the minors to get stretched out to start, there has been speculation Wood could move into Medlen’s spot. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Medlen would start Tuesday against the Mets, and Wood was not being considered for that start.
He said the Braves are getting Wood prepared to start so that they have depth. Brandon Beachy, who has spent 13 months recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, also could be ready soon.
If the Braves are confident in their starting-rotation depth, it could permit them to trade a starter to fill other needs.