If Brian McCann has his way, he’ll be in the Braves’ lineup come April 1 against the Phillies.
“If all goes well, it’s going to be hard for me to sit there and watch the team on Opening Day, if I’m feeling good,” McCann told Braves.com.
The six-time All-Star catcher underwent surgery on his right shoulder on Oct. 16 to repair a tear in his labrum.
With the Braves passing on their $12 million option on McCann, he is eligible to hit the free agent market after the season. But the Georgia native says he isn’t spending too much time looking ahead.
“I really don’t want to think about my future in that sense,” McCann said. “I love it here. It’s just where I grew up. I grew up 25 miles north of Turner Field. This is all I’ve ever known. I love it here.
“I worry about playing baseball and I worry about trying to be the best at what I do. If I can go out there and play well, then everything else will take care of itself. My No. 1 goal is to get back to the way I played the first six years of my career and even better than that.”
McCann, who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Braves, has a .279 career average with 156 home runs and 604 RBIs. But he’s coming off an injury-plagued season in which he set lows for RBIs (67) and average (.230) since becoming a full-time player.
“I played through [the pain] last year,” McCann said. “I just wasn’t very good. I went out there and on a nightly basis, I played through discomfort. I wasn’t able to play at the level that I’m used to playing. You try everything in your power to be successful and it just didn’t work out for me.”