Veteran Braves backstop Brian McCann hasn’t yet decided on his future but feels great in the present, he tells David O’Brien of The Athletic (subscription link) as part of a lengthy and entertaining chat. The 35-year-old backstop would say only that “we’ll see what happens” when pressed on his intentions for playing beyond the current campaign. It certainly seems like a tempting proposition for McCann, who says he “feel[s] amazing” after undergoing knee surgery last year. While he has had some ups and downs at the plate this season, McCann carries a solid .257/.328/.427 batting line over 198 plate appearances and has been an excellent value for the Braves at $2MM. His ongoing knee health seems to bode well for the organization down the stretch.
More on a few health situations from around the game …
- The White Sox announced today that they have activated catcher Welington Castillo. He ended up missing about a month with an oblique strain. It remains to be seen how the Chicago org will allocate playing time, but odds are James McCann will continue to receive the lion’s share of the duties behind the dish. Castillo could conceivably be moved later this month, if only because teams will be looking to stash depth in advance of the single trade deadline, but he won’t hold much appeal given his ugly .196/.289/.364 slash. The veteran backstop is also earning a hefty $7.25MM this year and is owed a $500K buyout on a $8MM club option for 2020. The White Sox may also just hang tight and see if their club can make a surprise run at a Wild Card slot.
- Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco won’t bounce back to the majors quite as quickly as had been hoped. As Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, Polanco was pulled from a rehab contest with left shoulder tightness. For now, the club only intends to give him a brief rest without interrupting the rehab assignment. As Mackey notes, the timing is of some consequence to the Bucs. The club is in a tough spot as the trade deadline approaches, having slipped into the NL Central cellar. It’s arguably positioned to sell a left-handed-hitting outfielder regardless of what else it does — highly paid pending free agent Corey Dickerson seems a particular candidate — but it’ll be tough to pull the trigger on a deal if there’s uncertainly regarding Polanco’s availability.
- As expected, Yankees righties Luis Severino and Dellin Betances resumed throwing yesterday, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Indications are that all went well for both hurlers in limited sessions, designed only to begin reintroducing their strained lats to the rigors of the MLB mound. Severino told reporters that he’d be willing to work back in a relief capacity if that’s the organization’s preference. While that’d bring him aboard quicker, it probably isn’t the optimal outcome for a club that has a need for quality rotation pieces and can probably afford to be patient.