Braves

6-time All-Star McCann set to come off DL Monday

by Charles Odum, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta's six-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann will come off the disabled list on Monday when the Braves open a series in Cincinnati.

McCann had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder last October. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Sunday's 9-4 win over the Mets that McCann will be active and with the team Monday.

Gonzalez said infielder Tyler Pastornicky will be optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for McCann.

McCann completed his rehab assignment with Gwinnett on Sunday.

"That's huge," said first baseman Freddie Freeman. "That's like trading for an All-Star."

McCann hit .364 with four homers in his first six games with Class A Rome and Gwinnett, but the bigger question has been how his shoulder holds up to his throws to second base. McCann said his arm is ready.

"The way I'm throwing now is basically the way I was throwing before I got hurt," McCann said this week. "The ball is coming out great.

"I tested my arm as much as I could possibly test it and woke up the next day and felt the same as the day before."

The decision to send Pastornicky to Gwinnett will leave the Braves with three catchers: McCann, Gerald Laird and rookie Evan Gattis.

Gattis, who had two hits on Sunday, is hitting .261 with seven homers and 18 RBIs. Gattis, the NL rookie of the month for April, is expected to play behind McCann and may have spot starts at first base and in the outfield.

Gonzalez said third baseman Juan Francisco is day to day with a mild right ankle sprain he suffered Friday. Francisco has shared time with Chris Johnson at third base.

Right fielder Jason Heyward, who had his appendix removed on April 22, is ready to take batting practice. Heyward will be with the team as it begins its 10-game road trip in Cincinnati and San Francisco.

Gonzalez said "there's still no timetable on where or when" Heyward begins his minor league rehabilitation assignment.

"He's taking it day by day right now," Gonzalez said. "He's feeling better every day."

Soon after his surgery, Heyward said he hoped to return by the end of May. It is possible Heyward could recover faster than he expected.

Also, right-hander Cristhian Martinez, who has been on the disabled list since April 7 with a right shoulder strain, is headed to the Braves' extended spring training in Orlando to begin a throwing program.



More Sports

College Football/Where Are They Now?

Former prep stars take Mercer into new conference

There's not a lot of rich football history at Mercer University, but there's plenty of enthusiasm as the private school in Macon goes into i ... Read More


Coweta athletes pick up gold, silver at AAU Junior Olympics

DES MOINES - Just two days into this year's AAU Junior Olympics Track & Field Championships, the luggage already plans to be a little he ... Read More


High School Football

Depth in backfield could give Newnan’s offense a push

Aside from financial recourse in terms of facilities and/or salaries, maybe the biggest handicap high school football coaches have com- pare ... Read More


Indians putting pieces together for first season under Pardue

Steve Pardue has watched his share of East Coweta game film since accepting the Indians head football job in late January, enough to have a ... Read More


Johnson, Hicks close Thunder schedule with third-place efforts

Senoia drivers Tina Johnson and Joshua Hicks closed out this year’s schedule at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s annual Thursday Thunder ... Read More

Hughes again team to beat in Region 3-AAAAAA

Mike McDonald obviously meant his words in jest. But amidst a table of Region 3-AAAAAA head football coaches on Thursday morning, there may ... Read More