Catcher Brian McCann is slated to come off the disabled list Monday, in time for Atlanta's big upcoming road trip.
By JAY CLEMONSFS South
ATLANTA — The National League East's best team will get a little stronger on Monday.
Brian McCann, who had shoulder surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum, will be activated off the disabled list, just in time for Atlanta's crucial 10-game road trip to Cincinnati, San Francisco and Arizona.
At Single-A Rome and Gwinnett, McCann cumulatively belted four homers — including two in his seasonal debut — and notched marks of .364 batting and a 1.371 OPS in his rehab stint. And now, he'll join a stacked catching corps that features Evan Gattis (the NL Rookie of the Month for April) and veteran Gerald Laird.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is likely to keep all three catchers on the 25-man roster for the foreseeable future, given Gattis' versatility at first base, the outfield and maybe even third base.
"If (McCann) feels good, he'll come back down here and fly out with us to Cincinnati," said Gonzalez on Sunday. "I don't see any reason why we can't set that in stone, but we have to wait for him to get two or three at-bats."
McCann, a six-time All Star with per-annum averages of 23 homers and 83 RBI since 2006, battled shoulder problems for much of last year, accounting for the career-low tallies in runs (44), batting average (.230), on-base percentage (.300) and slugging (.399).
The Braves (18-12), who started the season at 12-1 before a recent mini-slide, are set to embark on likely their toughest road swing of the season, facing three winning clubs — the
Diamondbacks — with pennant aspirations and strong pitching rotations.
As such, McCann should be a welcome bat for an offense that generated only 47 runs from April 19-May 3, spanning 14 games.
Notes: Braves reliever Cristhian Martinez (on the DL with a shoulder strain) is on his way to Orlando/Lake Buena Vista for a throwing program/extended spring training.