Catcher Brian McCann Expects To Be Ready To Start Season In Braves' Lineup

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
When Braves orthopedic surgeon Dr. Xavier Duralde performed the surgery Oct. 16, he inserted anchors into the posterior portion of McCann's shoulder. Duralde also repaired a labrum tear that was more significant than expected.

McCann will visit Duralde on Tuesday with the hope of learning that he could begin playing catch by the end of this week. His desire to begin swinging a bat might have to wait another two weeks. But based on the way his shoulder feels, McCann is growing more excited about the upcoming arrival of Spring Training.

If McCann is in the lineup on Opening Day, he will be approximately two weeks ahead of the schedule that was projected when he underwent surgery. It has been assumed that the Braves' veteran catcher would miss the regular season's first two weeks and potentially all of April.

But McCann is not ready to make any assumptions as he prepares for what could be his final season in his hometown. The 28-year-old catcher simply wants to make the most of the season and distance himself from the disappointment of last year's injury-plagued season.

Given that he is entering the final year of his contract, McCann has every reason to remain cautious and take all of the necessary steps to increase the likelihood to remain healthy and productive throughout the year. But as the past two seasons have confirmed, McCann would rather play through pain than to selfishly protect his future by remaining on the bench.

Before suffering an oblique strain on July 26, 2011, McCann's career numbers included a .291 batting average and a .853 OPS. While hitting .219 with a .684 OPS in the 158 games that have followed, he has potentially influenced the payday that awaits him on the free-agent market at the end of the season.

But as he hit a career-low .230 with 20 home runs -- nine in July -- and a .698 OPS, McCann did not provide excuses or look for the easy escape. When it was mentioned in early August that he could undergo season-ending surgery and guarantee that he would be ready for the start of the 2013 season, McCann said his responsibility was to continue playing and attempting to help the Braves win.

McCann entered the 2012 season excited about the opportunity to make up for the struggles he experienced after returning too soon from the oblique strain he suffered in late July 2011. But it did not take him long to realize that his right shoulder wasn't right.

When McCann had trouble lifting weights before the 2009 season, he received a cortisone shot that allowed him to play through the next three seasons without pain in his shoulder. But there was no way for him to mask the pain and continue being successful as he went through last season knowing that his right shoulder would pop in and out of place if he had to reach across the plate or adjust to an offspeed pitch.

Given time to evaluate what he has experienced during the past two seasons, McCann believes it is time for him to benefit from the disappointments and prove that his productive days are far from over.

----- Source: MLB.com


RHP Julio Teheran Picked As Opening Day Starting Pitcher For Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has been among the many who have long assumed Julio Teheran will make his second consecutive Opening Day start for Atlanta this year. But Gonzalez did not make it official until he shared a brief casual exchange with his young right-hander after Friday's rain-shortened win over the Red Sox. Teheran responded with a smile ... (click for more)

Mocs Softball Shutout Bucs, 11-0

Johnson City, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs (21-8, 4-0) softball team picked up its fourth consecutive SoCon win and 21st season victory with an 11-0 triumph over ETSU Saturday afternoon in Betty Basler Field. The offensive outburst was backed by an electric pitching performance by senior Taylor Deason (9-3).  Chattanooga exploded for 11 runs over six innings to down the ... (click for more)

Hard Freeze Predicted In The Area For Saturday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop Saturday night to 28 degrees or less. Here is the latest report from the National Weather Service:  HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT /11 PM CDT/ TONIGHT TO 11 AM EDT /10 AM CDT/ SUNDAY... * EVENT... A HARD FREEZE EXPECTED WITH LOWS FROM THE TEENS NORTH TO THE UPPER 20S SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)