The Astros will place catcher Brian McCann on the 10-day DL with knee soreness, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic was among those to report on Twitter. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by fellow backstop Tim Federowicz, whose contract will be selected.
McCann has dealt with knee issues in the past, which perhaps is not terribly surprising for a 34-year-old who has logged over 1,500 games behind the dish in his MLB career. By the description, it seems this placement is more about dealing with the long-term wear and tear than addressing any particular recent, acute injury.
Certainly, the numbers suggest it’s time for a respite. While the ’Stros have surged, McCann has fallen off with the bat. He posted a .271/.397/.407 slash in his first 73 plate appearances but is hitting just .164/.207/.291 in his most recent 58 trips to the dish.
As for Federowicz, he’ll be appearing in his seventh MLB season, though he has only 318 total plate appearances to date at the game’s highest level. He has been doing damage at Triple-A, as is his wont, with a .337/.407/.584 slash in 113 plate appearances this year — boosting his lifetime OPS at the highest level of the minors to a healthy .884 mark.
Generally, this move helps explain why many see the ’Stros as a plausible suitor for catching help at the trade deadline. McCann, who’s controlled by a club option for 2019, has generally been a solid asset for Houston but likely isn’t suited to heavy usage behind the dish at this stage of his career. Current reserve Max Stassi has impressed to date with a .300/.371/.525 slash on the year, though that has come with 29 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances.