The Atlanta Braves are limping to the finish line. Injuries to Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Austin Riley, and, the latest to join, Brian McCann have put the Braves in a tough position going down the home stretch of the season.
Brian McCann was is the latest Brave to join to growing IL. On Tuesday night, it was left knee soreness that required McCann to exit the game. Tyler Flowers came in the game to replace the veteran catcher. McCann, while splitting time with Flowers all season, has had a productive season in his first year back with the Braves. In 72 games, McCann is hitting .265 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI.
The Braves were planned for something like this to happen. With two veteran catchers on your roster, Flowers and McCann, there is a good chance one of them could be hobbled at some point of the season. To combat just that, the Braves traded for John Ryan Murphy at the trade deadline. Murphy is another veteran catcher, currently in the minors, who can be called upon during McCann’s absence.
Another option for the Braves is Alex Jackson, the touted prospect in AAA at the moment. In 80 games, Jackson has hit 25 home runs with 57 RBI. Jackson’s batting average and on-base percentage aren’t great, .225 and .312, but his power is clearly major-league ready. I don’t expect the Braves to call Jackson up with Murphy available too, but if the Braves are looking for a jolt of power in the lineup, Jackson would be the choice.
It’s unclear how much time McCann will be out for, but that timetable should become available today when more evaluations are done. The McCann injury adds another name to the growing list of Braves players sidelined at the moment. It’s a troubling trend for a team that is in the middle of a division race and a team with World Series aspirations. If the Braves sustain any more major injuries, this team will be depleted come playoff time.