Posts Tagged ‘catcher

05
Jul
09

McCann named to fourth straight All-Star game…

Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann

Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann

Atlanta catcher Brian McCann will be the only member of the Braves representing the team in St. Louis for the 2009 All Star game on July 14.

Despite a solid season from their starting pitchers, who rank third in the National League with a 3.75 ERA, not one was selected to join the National League’s pitching staff when rosters were announced today.

Jair Jurrjens and Javier Vazquez both made strong bids to be All-Stars but ultimately fell short of making the team, due to poor offensive support from an often lackluster Braves offense.

Jurrjens is fifth in the National League with a 2.73 ERA, but only stands at 6-6 on the season.

Vazquez ranks in the NL’s top ten in strikeouts (130), innings pitched (112), ERA (3.05) and opponents’ batting average (.232), but only has a 5-7 record to show for his efforts.

As for McCann, making the All-Star game has become a yearly tradition for the Braves catcher.

He was named to his fourth consecutive All-Star game, the first catcher to do so since Mike Piazza.

B-Mac was voted in as a reserve by his peers on the player’s ballot after hometown favorite Yadier Molina of the Cardinals beat him out to start. Despite missing 13 of the Braves’ first 28 games with blurred vision and dryness in his left eye, McCann still led Molina in every major offensive category this season.

This year’s selection to the All-Star game has to be the sweetest for McCann, who was able to return from the disabled list on May 8 with new glasses and has hit .329 with six home runs and 21 RBIs since.

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07
May
09

In the eye of the beholder….

3-time All-Star Brian McCann

3-time All-Star Brian McCann

What in the world is wrong with Brian McCann?

If that’s the burning question on the minds of all of you in BravesNation … you’re not alone.

Brian himself remains in the dark concerning his condition and the level of its seriousness.

McCann has been battling blurred vision and dryness in his left eye for the majority of the season and has been on the DL since April 25th in an effort to solve the mystery of his on-going eye ailment.

The Braves All-Star catcher underwent Lasik eye surgery before the 2008 season, but found out from an eye specialist that his eyesight had worsened since the surgery, leaving him more near-sighted in his left eye.

Initially, when this problem crept up early in the season, it seemed like a minor issue that could be rectified with something simple like a few ointments and new contact lenses.

Wrong.

Three eye specialists, three different contacts and numerous ointments and drops later … the saga continued.

McCann attempted to avoid a DL stint, but reported discomfort with the contacts and saw no decrease in the blurred vision that plagued him, which left the team no choice but to disable him.

Now, the experiment continues… this time with sport glasses, which Brian will try out in a minor league rehabilitation start for Triple A Gwinnett on Thursday. This comes a day later than expected, after the new eyeglasses arrived on Wednesday missing the right lens.

The Braves catcher plans to wear a hockey style facemask to protect his glasses, which will also allow him the ability to make the necessary plays in the field.

McCann and the Braves are hoping these new glasses will solve the problem, allowing B-Mac to be activated from the DL when he’s eligible on Friday before the Braves open a three-game series in Philadelphia.

The prescription glasses are McCann’s last ditch effort to avoid yet another Lasik surgery to repair the condition and to get the slugger through the season.

With the way the Braves offense has struggled with McCann out of the line-up, you can be sure that the team’s brass, his teammates and fans will all be waiting with bated breath on Thursday, hoping to get the good news that their catcher is set to return.




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