The last two OMI posts have been very positive, but things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Also, we’re way over the one month mark now, but i’m sticking with this post title anyway, and there’s very little you readers can do about it. Anyway, let’s get to today’s subject, Yankees catcher Brian McCann.
As I kind of alluded to earlier, the first six weeks of McCann’s Yankees career have left a lot to the imagination. That being said, let’s focus on the positives first. First of all, McCann has been great defensively. He came into the season with a reputation of being an excellent pitch framer, and he’s proven that reputation to be factual. I don’t have statistics to back this up, but I feel like he’s definitely done a wonderful job of calling games so far this season, and that includes framing up some nice strikes for his guys in the rotation. Everyone on the Yankees staff has raved about McCann’s game calling abilities as well, and those claims have proven to be legitimate as well. McCann hasn’t made an error in the field yet, and he’s thrown out 6 of 16 base runners, which is good for 38%. That’s well above his career percentage, and pretty darn good in comparison to other major league catchers. The Yankees weren’t just signing a bat when they put down 5 years and $85MM for McCann’s services; they also wanted an actual catcher. They have that in McCann.
Offensively, however, things haven’t exactly panned out, as McCann has gotten off to a terrible start. Through 31 games, the big lefty is slashing .214/.252/.342 with just 4 home runs and 12 RBI. It hasn’t been good at all. What has caused this? I think it’s a combination of things. First of all, there’s the dreaded shift. There have definitely been a few balls that would have been hits, had the infield not been repositioned. Secondly, McCann has been making a legitimate effort to beat that shift, which has led to qute a few opposite field hits, but I think could be changing how he goes about his business at the dish. Finally, he got off to a bad start, and now I think he’s pressing like crazy. His walk rate is way low and he’s swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone (34.8%a) It’s not the strangest thing in the world to press a little when you’ve just signed a giant contract and are now playing in New York City.
We’ve seen flashes of the Brian McCann the Yankees signed, like his 2 homer game against the Red Sox, so I think he’s about due to bust out and be the Brian McCann the Yankees signed. I’m not going to panic just yet, but it would be nice if he gets things going soon.
Featured image courtesy of: Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post
- http://riveraveblues.com/2014/05/brian-mccann-trying-beat-shift-103010/ (back)
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