McCann says he can start despite shoulder woes
Catcher sits two straight days, disagrees with Braves on diagnosis
ATLANTA -- Catcher Brian McCann does not agree with the Braves' assessment that he is dealing with a subluxation of his right shoulder. Nor was he happy with manager Fredi Gonzalez's decision to keep him out of the lineup for a second consecutive game on Saturday.
"It's not a good day for a rest," McCann said before Saturday's game against the Dodgers. "I'd like to be playing."
Gonzalez informed McCann on Friday that he would not be in the lineup for the first two games of this weekend's series.
When asked to explain this decision, Gonzalez made it clear that the shoulder was not an issue. The decision seemed to have more to do with the recent struggles of McCann and the fact that David Ross entered the game with four hits, including three home runs, in nine at-bats against Dodgers scheduled Saturday starter Aaron Harang.
"[The shoulder is] not 100 percent, but who is 100 percent at this time of the year?" Gonzalez said. "He'll be in there tomorrow."
After McCann received a cortisone shot that forced him to miss two games last week, the Braves revealed that he was dealing with a right shoulder subluxation. McCann made it known that he does not agree with this diagnosis.
Instead, McCann believes his shoulder discomfort is a product of a cyst and a frayed labrum. An MRI exam performed a couple months ago led to this diagnosis.
"I've got a cyst that is sitting on a joint and a frayed labrum," McCann said. "I've got things going on in there. But it's something I'm managing. I'm going to play through it, and at the end of the year, I'm going to see what I have to do."
McCann has battled some shoulder discomfort most of this season. It appeared he had turned a corner when he batted .308 with nine home runs and a 1.115 OPS in the last 18 games he played in July. But he has been limited to four hits, all singles, during his first 36 at-bats in August.
"I can pinch-hit," McCann said. "I can play. I can do all of the things that I need to do to play."
Braves target mid-September return for Simmons
ATLANTA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 8 with a broken right pinkie, still has not begun baseball activities but is continuing therapy to strengthen his hand.
Gonzalez said a mid-September return date for Simmons may be more realistic than the beginning of September, which the Braves had initially hoped for.
Simmons' absence from the lineup has been eased by Paul Janish, whom the Braves acquired from the Reds on July 14.
The Braves wanted Janish primarily for his exemplary defense, but they have been pleasantly surprised by his offense. Janish is hitting .227 with a .303 on-base percentage since the trade. After a three-hit night in the Braves' 4-3 victory against the Dodgers on Friday, Janish is 7-for-15 in his last four games.
"I know he's been swinging it pretty good," Gonzalez said. "He's been really, really fun to watch and to be around."
Braves right-hander Peter Moylan, who is attempting to come back from rotator cuff surgery last September, made his seventh appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out two batters in one inning.
Moylan has yet to pitch on back-to-back days and Gonzalez said the health of Moylan's shoulder has been inconsistent, with some days better than others.