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


UTC Names Van Zile Assistant Athletic Director For Development

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics David Blackburn announced the hiring of Troy Van Zile as the Mocs’ Assistant Athletics Director for Development today.  Van Zile joins Chattanooga Athletics after spending the last year as the Executive Vice President of University Development at Impacts Unlimited in Nashville, Tenn.   ... (click for more)

Notre Dame's Enos, Murphy On 3A Preseason All-State Team

Notre Dame's Tyler Enos and Robert Murphy have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Class 3A Preseason All-State Team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Other Chattanooga-area players voted to the team were Loudon's Ben Johnson, McMinn Central's Joe Croft and Red Bank's Tra Stamper. Enos is a 6-0, 225-pound senior linebacker while Murphy is a 6-2, ... (click for more)

County Taking First Step Toward Replacing County Jail Downtown With Workhouse Addition At Silverdale

County officials are taking the first step toward replacing the long-criticized county jail downtown with an addition at the workhouse at Silverdale. The County Commission is set to approve next Wednesday a $150,000 contract for the PFM government financial consulting firm to begin working out the details. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he believes the move will save the ... (click for more)

Birchwood Residents Organize To Try To Keep Old School

Birchwood residents have organized to try to keep the old Birchwood School that serves as a community center. Jason Wright, who said he is an alumnus of the school and recently moved his family back home, said the community is concerning over the possibility of the county tearing the school down. He said he was advised that the boiler in the old school has stopped working ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)