McCann dealing with blurred vision

Brian McCann isn’t ready to discuss the possibility that he might need to go on the disabled list. But the Braves All-Star catcher is concerned about the blurred vision he’s experienced in his left eye since Opening Day. 

After returning from Philadelphia last week, McCann visited an eye doctor who told him that there’s a chance that his vision has changed since he underwent Lasik surgery in Nov. 2007.  But while wearing a contact over the last week, the 25-year-old catcher didn’t experience improved vision.

Essentially, McCann’s left eye has been dry and he hasn’t benefitted from the use of eye drops.  On Saturday morning, he began using a prescribed ointment. 

If this latest treatment doesn’t work, McCann may have to have the vision in his left eye re-adjusted and there’s certainly a chance this would necessitate him to miss at least one week and possibly experience a stint on the 15-day disabled list. 

McCann began this season with six hits, including two homers and three doubles in his first 15 at-bats.  But he recorded just one single in the 17 at-bats that followed. 

While experiencing better vision during the day, McCann entered Saturday’s game hitting .167 (4-for-24) in night games and .375 (3-for-8) in day games. 

Boyer DFA’d:  Blaine Boyer didn’t seem too surprised when he walked in the clubhouse on Saturday morning and was told that the Braves had designated him for assignment.   To make room for Jo-Jo Reyes, Boyer had established himself as the obvious roster casualty. 

While making 51 appearances before last year’s All-Star break, Boyer posted a 3.93 ERA and saw opponents hit .237 with a .301 on-base percentage.   In the 28 appearances that have followed, he’s posted a 13.06 ERA, seen opponents hit .330 with a .402 on-base percentage.

The Braves saw the tremendous physical skills that will likely lead another club to claim Boyer off the waiver wire.  But as time progressed, they became convinced that his mental shortcomings were going to prevent him living up to his potential in their organization.

Chipper and Escobar updates:  Chipper Jones is still aiming to return to the lineup on Sunday and there’s a chance that he could be joined by Yunel Escobar, who has missed the past two games with a strained abdominal muscle. 

Escobar was able to perform just one situp on Friday.  But by Saturday morning, the 26-year-old shortstop’s strength had improved to the point that the Braves gained the belief that he’d be available for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates.  

48 Comments

Gotta love the Braves patience once they get down. Monroe hits the three-run homer to make it 5-0. McCann, Kotchman, and Francoeur come out in the 7th. They make Snell throw all of 10 pitches, 7 strikes, 7 swings, 1 miss, 3 fouls, and 3 weakly hit balls.

Ok, I loved Jordan Schafer and did all spring, but wtf. I am not a major league outfielder by any means, but you do not have to run touch the wall everytime a ball is hit that way. Play the ball off the wall for once. I mean good god.

Totally agree with tomtalk too. What patience the Braves have possessed. I wish all the games didn’t count. It seems like those are the ones we are patient in. I heard the Braves guys say something about 16 losing seasons in a row. Get ready Braves fan, if we play like this all the time.

the Braves put too much faith in the long ball anymore. There is no way they can play AL style baseball with the other NL East teams, they will be destroyed. Instead they need to start taking some walks and stealing a few bases ala the mid 80’s STL Cardinals. Now i know why Peavy didn’t want to come to ATL.

You have to wonder whether Schafer’s struggles at the plate have him pressing in the field a bit. He’s done it on both pursuit of the ball as well as in throwing decisions over the past week. His batting doesn’t terribly worry me right now. He’s only batting in the 8-hole, and that decision looks very smart. Young hitters go through these spells. Jay Bruce had that torid start in May of last year, and the next month of June he batted about .220 with 30 some-odd strikeouts. Young guys just do that, and it’s not as though Blanco’s been doing much at Triple AAA to press the issue.

I agree with tomahawkchop that the Braves can’t rely upon the long ball. We of course tried a little bit of get the runner moving with Prado and Schafer only to have a strike him out, throw him out. The problem for the Braves is that they’re not built to have a real running game. Three regulars McCann, Anderson, and Kotchman are well below average runners. Others like Johnson, Francoeur, Chipper, Infante, Prado, Diaz are all average speed. Escobar might be slightly above average with only Schafer having true plus speed. He doesn’t make contact well enough to make use of that speed. Unfortunately, we look like team “Mark Grace.” Decent average (not as good as Grace’s mind you) with below average power at many positions and virtually no speed.

BOYER’S mental shortcomings? How about the mental shortcomings of this organization? When is the last time a pitcher, starter or reliever, came up through the organization and made it to arbitration? It’s hard to blame one guy when the system has so utterly failed for so long.

Boyer’s head is just fine. When he pulls on another uniform, his mental shortcomings will magically disappear. The mental shortcomings in Atlanta will still be there.

They still haven’t posted today’s lineup. From what I understand, McCann was supposed to use the antibiotic drops again last night and rest today. So we’ll likely see David Ross behind the plate. Ross has one hit, a double, in four at-bats against Zach Duke.

Schafer is the consumate “fast twitch” guy. He’ll be streaky for most of the season until he learns to play under control and focus the nervous energy, AND, he will.
I’ll say it here first, the Braves get well today and win big, 8-3 or so. Frenchy goes deep, Ross goes deep, Prado gets a gapper for a 2B or 3B.
I’ll be watching Hanson dominate the Tides is his first home game for Gwinnett. So Today it is an all inclusive Go Braves!!!

Chipper is back in the lineup today. Escobar will wait another day and McCann will learn more about his eye when he visits an eye doctor in D.C. tomorrow.

That is EXACTLY WHAT I’M THINKING!!!!!!!!………… We TRADE GARRET ANDERSON……… we also Trade Brandon Jones!! We keep Matt Diaz as our back-up outfielder (since Diaz can kill left handed pitching)!!!! Kelly can play a very good left field (if Marcus Giles) can be productive in Our Minors…… then we have made a ***great upgrade*** and we can pick-up at least (2) good **additional players** from these trades (and minor league contract signing)!!!! ******FROM TRADING GARRET ANDERSON AND BRANDON JONES******…… we can get (1) reliever to help in our bullpen………. and (1) young or veteran POWER-HITTING OUTFIELDER to give our outfield ***** SOME MORE POP ***** !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey saltlake, you forgot to mention signing Jim Edmonds in your post.

I have several questions. 1, why does Saltlake think Marcus Giles would be a good thing for us? Giles is not a good fit for us. 2. Get rid of Garret Anderson and our second top outfield prospect? Why? We have plenty of arms in AAA. Kelly Johnson needs to stay at second base. 3, Saltlake, why in the world do you have all the *** all over your post? Its extraneous.

Rother, are you a scout, another reporter or just a diehard fan? Ive been reading your comments for a while now and I haven’t been able to figure it out.

Garret Anderson’s injury woes have at least affected a new portion of his right leg. The 36-year-old outfielder left today’s game with tightness in his right quad. His status was announced as day-to-day. But that’s seemingly been his status since the Braves signed him and watched him strain his right calf before playing his second exhibition game.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME………… GARRET ANDERSON????? SERIOUSLY….. Are you kidding me Garret Anderson?? IN ADDITION TO YOUR……….. **** RIPPED “RIGHT” CALF MUSCLE *****………. NOW YOU ***TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE GAME because of a *******MESSED-UP “LEFT” QUAD MUSCLE*******!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Garret Anderson, you are basicly TELLING US THAT YOU HAVE *********** 2 MESSED UP LEGS *************!!!!!!!!! I WILL TAKE IT EASY ON YOU TODAY AND JUST TELL YOU…………….. ***RETIRE NOW, YOU WASHED-UP, SHREADED-MUSCLE, LAZY A**, CIRCUS-PERFORMING FIELDING FREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOBODY WANTS YOUR LAZY, GIMPY A** IN ATLANTA!!!!!!! GET OUT OF TOWN….. BEFORE WE RUN YOU OUT OF TOWN!!!!!!!

Sorry, I was wrong about Anderson’s injury…it’s actually his left quad.

Saltlake go post on the Yankees blogs or something. I’ve read your posts all winter and no one likes your posts or opinion. How about just once you post something positive to make us believe that you really are a braves fan and don’t take it out on Garret Anderson because Braves didn’t sign Jim Edmonds.

How’d I do on my predictions for Today? I had Prado and Frenchy backwards though with the homer and double. Otherwise, pretty close. Oh well, maybe next time I’ll do a little better.

brav3st1ll1d1e, there’s not much evidence to suggest Garret Anderson can still hit. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he can’t play defense. He’s looked hopeless in the field all season (ST included). I know he’s had a FEW good at-bats (mostly bad), but given the sample size, you can’t definitively say he can hit when healthy. Now, there’s not enough to rule him out either, but I don’t want the Braves relying on a 37 year old. Matt Diaz is who we need to produce.

Im not sure but judging by Saltlake’s venomous attacks against Garret Anderson (which I think needs to stop anyway, Anderson will get better. I hope.) I think Saltlake must be a former fan of Anderson’s who didn’t get the autograph he wanted when he went to the game. Ok Saltlake, put on your big boy pants and quit crying bout it already.

Now for that kinda offense we produced today…why can’t we do that everyday? We can’t just hang all of our offensive hopes on Chipper Jones.

Mark, do you think its too early to worry about having Jordan Schafer at the MLB level with his early struggles? Some defensive faux paus (his cartoon which way do I go shuffle and letting balls get behind him more often than I think Andruw Jones let happen when he was in center) and now his hitting struggles. He did much better today, but that was today.

Im probably worried about Schafer for no reason but I think he needs to spend more time with the pitching staff just to understand more of how the pitcher thinks when facing him. Schafer gets that first strike on him now and next thing you know he swings at every pitch he sees and misses by a mile.

First of all, saltlake is either a joke account or a mentally challenged 9 year old. I would advise everyone to either ignore his posts or just laugh at them.
I also think it’s ridiculous to hear all the naysaying about this club after a few bad games. Boyer probably needed to go, Jo Jo didn’t pitch that bad and would have been much better later in the game if he had some run support. Schafer is fine. He has played in what, 12 professional games now? He’s allowed a few rookie mistakes, especially since he’s hitting above .300. Frenchy is killing it and Ross is a great backup for McCann if he ends up on the DL. Some weaknesses have been exposed, but that’s why you make adjustments. Sometimes you’ll lose to a team like the Pirates.. look at the Yankees’ roster, who lost to the Indians 22-4. Sometimes it happens.

I have to agree that it’s way too early to panic too much about the team. Ideally do you want to lose a series to the Pirates? No. Ideally do you want to have the bullpen have the meltdowns it’s had early? No. Would it be nice if Schafer hit the big leagues like Albert Pujols? Of course. However, let’s keep things in perspective….we’re not even a tenth of the way through the season yet. Were the Braves to go 2-2 the next 4 games, we’d be on pace for an 81-81 season. If we go 3-1 we’d be on pace for a 90 win season. If we went 4-0 we’d be on pace for a 100 win season. I’m not saying ANY of those scenarios matters. The point is, the sample size is really too small to have a good idea of the team yet.
I’d be encouraged at least by the Braves depth to deal with the injuries which are inevitable. There are much worse options out there than having David Ross fill in for McCann, Matt Diaz spell Garrett Anderson, and Martin Prado/Omar Infante fill in for Chipper. As for Schafer…the guy is f-a-s-t. I’m betting that in the minors he played in few, if any, outfields where he couldn’t run a ball down that stayed in the park. Once he figures out that ML parks are bigger, he’s going to pretty quickly make the adjustment to play balls off the wall better. Anything we get offensively should be considered a bonus, and there’s plenty of time for him to prove to be a guy who can go .270/.360 with some speed (a quality this team desperately needs).

I agree with you tomatalk. What Im just hoping for is that he realizes what adjustments he needs to make fast so he doesn’t have a bad rookie season where he ends up batting like Andruw Jones did his final Braves year. That season was just filled with untapped potential.

I think Schafer has the potential to be a .300/.400+ guy. If he can more sooner than later find the plate discipline he will have and can be a potential leadoff hitter, Kelly will tear it up at the bottom of the order. Maybe if Gonzalez has his struggles, Bobby might want to go with a situational closer situation like the Rays had last year. Hopefully Anderson’s legs aren’t done and he can still get some hits this year.. And those people who were vehemently against getting Nick Swisher might be biting their tongues now. After seeing him hit and pitch in relief, we might have unintentionally solved our problem in left field and in the bullpen. Ha.

6-6 is not a bad start. We’re doing just as good or even better than the Mets and Phillies, but yeah.. the Marlins might be the problem this year.

I’m willing to give him time. But there’s little evidence to suggest he WILL produce no matter how much time we give him. He had a .327 OBP last year. That sucks.

I meant AVG/SLG.

PWH – He’s got a .327 OBP in the majors this year. His OBP last year was .378. In 2007 it was .374. In winter ball last year it was .369. I’m not optimistic about him becoming a .400 guy, but I think a .270/.360 is within “reason” though maybe not expected at least for this year.

To all of you Chicken Little Braves fans who think the sky is falling… here are a few facts to help lower your blood pressure:

*as a team we are batting .300*we have played 12 games and our starting pitchers have thrown 11 or 12 quality starts.*our starting pitchers have a combined 3.27 era (minus JoJo)* Lowe, Jurjjens, and Vasquez have a combined 2.61 era.* Jeff Francoeur has six hits in his first 10 at-bats with two outs and runners in scoring position this year. Last year, he hit just .175 (14-for-80) in that situation.*We are averaging over 1 hr per game *We are 6-1 in games Chipper Jones has played
Once we tighten the reigns on our bullpen… are we really as bad of a team as everyone is saying on this blog?

Nice stats bravomania. My wife is an avid Red Sox fan and I just ran all these by her and commented that we’ve obviously got the offense and the pitching. We just need to get these little kinks worked out and we’ll be good to go. No team starts out on fire and ends up winning it all (certainly not the Marlins). The only team in recent history I’ve seen do that was the Reds back in 1989 I think it was. After they started 9-0, I commented to a friend that they would sweep the series and they did. Ever since then, with all the parity and talent (especially in this year’s NL east), the team that’s going to take it all is a team with a good solid foundation, exactly like what the Braves obviously have.

Bravomania, is it ever as bad as it is Blogged to be? It’s like the radio talk shows, negative=Smart, right?

Yeah, whatever….

Schafer is a kid, first time up, playing out of control. That is temporary.

Francoeur is back, because he BELIEVES he?s Francoeur again. Clutch IS NOT a physical trait. The hate thrown at him last season still amazes me. Ron Gant used to go into 2 month long slumps as well, and he was never clutch, always pulled the ball with runners on or not, and is still beloved in Atlanta.

G Anderson is either playing hurt as best he can ( I hope), or dogging it at the request of the biggest jerk in sports, Scott Boras, (I fear) either way, he isn?t helping right now. I haven?t seen enough to know which or to see how and IF he interacts with his teammates. If he is a part of the group shots, he?ll be just fine, if he?s out on the end of the bench by himself, he needs to work that out or he will follow Craig Wilson (a couple years ago Braves tried him, ex Pirate) to the waiver wire. He hasn?t shown enough here to warrant any Sheffield like ?star? attitude. And I?m not saying he is doing that, I just haven?t seen enough to tell yet.

Ross is a legit starting catcher in the Majors, so we can weather a short McCann injury, plus he?s right handed and that helps.

When Medlen comes up to spot start and long relieve, there will be an instant improvement in the entire pitching staff. He is going to get to Atlanta before Tommy Hanson, who seems to be on a very strict pitch count program so far. Plus Medlen is Mr. Strike One, which is EXACTLY what the Braves need. Buddy is that way, but Medlen has way better stuff than Carlyle does.

I?m guessing that Jo Jo goes back when Medlen comes up, then Bennett becomes the marked man when Hanson is ready. Anybody notice the two empty spots on the 40 Man roster? Hmmmmmm?

Any way you look at it, there’s a long way to go, and everyone will have a “awful” 12 game stretch where they go, dare I speak the words, Five Hundred!!!

Bravomania,

I wouldn’t call myself a “chicken little” fan, in fact I agree that bloggers can be too quick to panic. However, I think there’s such thing as being overly positive too, like saying that we’ve had “11 or 12″ quality starts when we’ve only had six. Starters have looked good, but they haven’t gone as deep as we need them to, especially while the bullpen is struggling. Also, 1 HR per game is not a great accomplishment to aim for…puts us right at average. It only seems good because of how terrible we were in that regard last year. As for our record with Chipper, that doesn’t make me happy because it just highlights our record without him, 0-5. It doesn’t look like he’s going to play more than usual this year, so it sucks that we’re apparently just as dependent on him as ever.

There’s definitely a lot to be positive about, but it’s mostly potential at this point. I don’t think that our bullpen is as bad as they’ve looked, but until they prove it that’s an issue. Same for the offense, I don’t believe they’ll be as feast-or-famine as they were last year, but the Pirates series was a bad sign. The sky isn’t falling, but we aren’t exactly rolling just yet.

Tomatalk, I was talking about Garret Anderson with reference to the .327 OBP (I’m told it was .325, but that’s 6 of one half dozen of the other). I have absolutely no idea who you’re talking about with those numbers. Garret didn’t play winter ball.

The problem is not “depending on” Chipper, every team depends on their superstar. The problem is not being able to count on Chipper. Every team needs to be able to “count on” their superstar.
If Chipper plays under 120 games, that is going to be an ongoing issue. St Louis without Puhols is not nearly as good either, they just don’t find themselves in that situation nearly as often as the Braves do.

PWH, I had absolutely no idea who you were talking about. At the time you posted several people were referencing Jordan Schafer, myself included. He did play winter ball. I agree on the Anderson point though. I think the guy’s a career .325 OBP guy (or something right in that range) because he just does not walk…at all. The guy hasn’t played 100 games in the outfield in several years and hasn’t hit 20 homeruns in like 5 years. Yeah, he hits for a decent .290-.300 average, but that’s it. He’s definitely a “perception > reality” type of guy.

I think one of the biggest problems is helping the other teams at the same time. The plate discipline is terrible. They are taking swings while down at the first pitch and popping out. How can you expect to win games while doing that? There’s a difference between swinging at bad pitches and being aggressive at the plate. They aren’t disciplined. I love Jordan, but he needs to understand the AB more. The more swings they take at those first, second pitches the longer the pitcher stays in, the shorter the inning so he has more time to rest, and the harder it is to get ahead. Obviously there are more issues, but you can’t get many big innings going when you can’t tire the pitcher with pitch count and be smart at the plate.

I think one of the biggest problems is helping the other teams at the same time. The plate discipline is terrible. They are taking swings while down at the first pitch and popping out. How can you expect to win games while doing that? There’s a difference between swinging at bad pitches and being aggressive at the plate. They aren’t disciplined. I love Jordan, but he needs to understand the AB more. The more swings they take at those first, second pitches the longer the pitcher stays in, the shorter the inning so he has more time to rest, and the harder it is to get ahead. Obviously there are more issues, but you can’t get many big innings going when you can’t tire the pitcher with pitch count and be smart at the plate.

Ya, I apologize for the confusion, Tomatalk. I was responding to brav3st1ll1d1e in my post and I should’ve clarified. My mistake. Mark, in your educated opinion, what is the % chance the Braves will be able to play tonight?

PWH I’m in Williamsburg, VA, about 2 hours south of where they’re playing tonight. We had rain here this morning and the fronts seem to be moving north/northeast and it looks like clear skies for the rest of the day. The clouds are breaking up and after just looking on weather.com for DC, IMO they’ll play tonight. It doesn’t look like any more precipitation is headed that way.

Sid_Slid – Thanks for calling me out on the “11 or 12″ quality starts statistics. My definition of a quality start was wrong. However, under the correct definition – Jurjjens was 1 or 2 outs away from a quality start before Bobby lifted him… and Derek Lowe was shortchanged a quality start due to a rain delay… so theoretically we should at least have 9 out of the 12 starts be considered quality.Either way you slice it though – I was misleading in my “chicken little” post.
However – I do believe there is a lot more positive about this team than negative. I find it funny that everyone on here is a hitting expert that needs to give Jordan Schafer pointers. Although he’s young – he’s been an elite hitter and baseball player for over a decade. I think he understands his approach to the plate and what works for him. He knows his game and the only person he should be listening to is Terry Pendelton. He has had a great start to the year and he will only improve with time.
Our single greatest factor to our .500 record has been the era of our bullpen. Like I said before – once we address the bullpen we will be fine.

Good to hear, asphaltcowboy816.

Far more to like than dislike 12 games in.

Bullpen needs some adjustment, We need a righty bat that can play all 3 OF positions and come off the bench to spell Schafer from time to time and take Anderson’s place in LF defensively on a regular basis.

For the crowd already casting aspersions on LF, keep in mind that if you at any time have advocated that Jason Perry be brought to camp in ST. Or far worse written a piece suggesting that the Braves set their sights on the single most overrated, overpaid player in MLB by the ASB, just excuse yourself from further discussion.

Oh-said player’s name-Brian Giles. A singles hitting, defensive liability 4th OF that makes 9M a year. I think Giles currently has 3XBH in 55-60 AB’s currently.

He’s(Giles) terribly overrated and been garbage for a while now.

Forgot to add also on the LF’s recuse yourself also if you have been beating the drums constantly for Jim Edmonds also.

Yeah, the drug testing and the fall of the mighty Giles brothers were just a coincidence. X Nady backers would also be bumming right now. Jermaine Dye followers would have the edge. Swisher has the rest of the season left to be himself, so let’s not cry to loudly about not getting him either.

How is Edmonds doing?
What’s that?
He didn’t catch on yet?
….with ANYBODY????
Oh, nevermind then.

Somebody will become available that none of us have even thought of yet. Then we can move a pile of good young arms that are currently in the way of some great young arms and finish out the season strong.

Rother, also agree with your take that Medlen will be on the MLB scene before Hanson arrives.

Medlen is a strike throwing machine.

I look for medlin to be up by the middle of May at the latest.

davidat14, Brian Giles is not a singles hitter, he’s a power hitter. He plays in the most pitcher-friendly park in the game and that seriously depresses his power numbers. And I advocated Jason Perry being brought into ST as a NRI on a minor-league deal. A completely risk-free move. He’s put up good numbers in his career and I thought he deserved a shot at making the roster. With someone, if not the Braves. Oh, and about Giles being a defensive liability, he was the 2nd best RF in the league last year according to +/- at +20. He was also the 2nd best in 2006 with +16 and he was +2 in 2007. He’s a well above-average fielder. I think you’re talking about my “Braves Potential Mid-season Trade Targets” article that was selected to be on mlbtraderumors (selected by people a whole lot smarter and more baseball savvy than you). Brian Giles was one of the 9 listed players (not in any particular order) considering he could probably add some much-needed pop if our OFers weren’t performing, he’s in the last year of his contract, and he’d probably come cheap in a trade since the Padres would like to dump that salary and they’re probably not interested in re-signing him. Anyway, I didn’t suggest the Braves “set their sights on him”, I suggested he could be a potential mid-season trade target. Which he is. So piss off.

pwjhort, Mark can assure you if he chooses to that Brian Giles is not on any radar whatsoever for Frank Wren.

That you and Tim at MLBTR.com seem to think he is, means nothing at all.

Sorry about mistyping your moniker Peter.

Should read PWHjort.

Jason Perry is classic 4A. Deemed a non major league talent by several organizations.

The problem with defensive metrics is that they lead to absurd conclusions like labeling Giles the 2nd best RF in the game.

No MLB GM or Scout would deem him in the top half of defensive RF or even LF for that matter.

Braves Lineup:

1.KJ- 2B
2.Esco- SS
3.Chipper- 3B
4.Kotchman- 1B
5.Francoeur- RF
6.Diaz-LF
7.Schafer-CF
8.Ross-C
9.Lowe-P

I didn’t say he was on Frank’s “radar”. I said he’d be a potential target for a mid-season trade if our outfield isn’t preforming. Which he would be. What is so hard to understand about that? And fielding metrics are somewhat flawed, but Giles is a significantly above-average fielder at the corner outfield positions.

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