The injury occurred in last night’s 5-1 win over the Marlins, as McCann left the game after the third inning. The injury isn’t considered to be overly serious, as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves hope McCann is out for “just a couple of weeks.” McCann missed time due to arthroscopic knee surgery last season, though that procedure was on his right knee, rather than his left.
While McCann may not be out for too long, his absence comes at a time when Atlanta is missing a worryingly large number of position players. Dansby Swanson, Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte, and Austin Riley are all on the IL, with only Swanson and Riley potentially able to return before the end of August. The Braves have the cushion of a six-game lead over Washington in the NL East, though 23 of their remaining games are against the Nationals, Mets, Phillies, and Giants, all of whom are still vying for the NL wild card.
McCann has hit .264/.336/.423 with 10 home runs over 274 PA with the Braves this season, delivering a solid bounce-back performance after last year’s injury-shortened campaign with the Astros. McCann’s offense has helped balance out a down year at the plate for Tyler Flowers, who has only a .696 OPS this season after hitting .261/.360/.411 over his first three seasons (330 PA) in Atlanta.
A right hamstring strain briefly sidelined McCann back in April, opening the door for Jackson to make his Major League debut in the form of three games for the Braves. Jackson was the sixth overall pick of the 2014 draft, though after his career was seemingly stalling out as an outfielder in the Mariners’ farm system, he converted to catcher after joining the Braves’ organization prior to the 2017 season. Jackson will serve as Flowers’ backup until McCann is back in action.