Brian McCann, Houston Astros veteran catcher, has been largely missing in action so far in 2018. What could possibly be going on with all this?
The Houston Astros World Series victory last year was thanks, in large part, to Brian McCann. He is a perennial part of the team’s success. The veteran presence coupled with his future hall of fame numbers on both sides of the ball make him a real asset.
So why has BMac only played in nine of the 20+ games so far this spring?
Skipper A.J. Hinch has given no word as to why, nor has anyone close to the clubhouse. No reported injuries or physical setbacks of any kind. Recently, he was with the team in Washington D.C. on their trip to the White House to celebrate the championship win.
From the looks of it, he didn’t appear to have anything wrong with him. So what gives?
McCann has not had a very good spring so far. He has no hits and a minuscule .182 OPS in a mere 22 plate appearances. McCann does have one RBI and three walks, but also six strikeouts in 18 at-bats. That’s a 33 percent K rate.
Defensively, McCann has still held up. Despite one passed ball, he has a 50 percent caught stealing ratio and has 25 putouts for 26 total chances across 24 innings. He has been key in getting the pitching staff back to their winning ways.
The lack of playing time for McCann this preseason is incredibly troubling. Has Father Time caught
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up to him the same way it did to Carlos Beltran last season? Signs point to no, as BMac has still been out there doing his job.
Does the Skip have something else planned? It’s really hard to say. I expressed similar concerns last spring with his preseason numbers when he was acquired a year ago.
At the same time, I also made sure to show the trend that has happened over his career. Brian McCann has a superstition to take it slow during spring training to avoid being plunked and potentially injured. There has happened to BMac before in year’s past.
The Waiting Game
There is no bigger fan of McCann among the Houston Astros fan base than myself. I have been following his career since he was in Atlanta. I know exactly what he can in this game. It is the sincere hope of me and so many others that things will come through for BMac and the team collectively.
I’m confident that both the skip and Brian McCann have a plan in mind. As fans, we all wait in anticipation for what that is. Hinch appears to be getting out of Tim Federowicz and Garrett Stubbs what he can before they get reassigned to Triple-A Fresno.
Max Stassi is already in line to be primary backup to McCann, while Evan Gattis will serve as primary DH and third string emergency backstop to the both of them. However, the BMac needs to get some more reps in. If he doesn’t, he’s going to have some serious rust going into the regular season.