User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Braves bench C McCann for wild-card game

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

ATLANTA (AP) - Plagued by injuries, Brian McCann endured the worst season of his career. He'll watch the Braves' wild-card playoff game from the bench.

Advertisement
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez announced that David Ross - not McCann - will start Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. But Gonzalez stressed that it's not a permanent move if the Braves advance past the one-game playoff.

``I think going forward Mac will catch, obviously, in a longer series, a five-game series or even a seven-game series if we get that far,'' Gonzalez said Thursday before a workout at Turner Field. ``We'll play the matchups.''

Gonzalez said he made the move primarily for defense, believing Ross has a better chance of keeping the Cardinals from attempting to steal. Also, Ross was behind the plate for two of the most dominant performances by starting pitcher Kris Medlen: a 12-strikeout effort against Colorado on Sept. 3 and a career-high 13 Ks against Washington on Sept. 14.

``You feel like (Ross) gives you a good chance to win the ballgame,'' Gonzalez said. ``Defensively, we know how well he can throw people out. The Cardinals have a tendency to put people in motion a lot. And with the combination of Rossy and Medlen, maybe it gives you an opportunity to shut that down a little bit.''

Slowed by a knee injury and an ailing right shoulder, McCann batted just .230 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs this season. Ross hit .256 with nine homers and 23 RBIs.

Gonzalez said it was difficult to tell McCann that he wouldn't be starting the wild-card game.

``I've been thinking about this for three or four days,'' the manager said. ``He's a very important piece to our team and he's a warrior.''

Gonzalez said Ross, a right-handed hitter, could start again if the Braves advance to face Washington and left-hander Gio Gonzalez, since McCann bats lefty. But the manager stressed that McCann will get the bulk of the playing time if Atlanta makes an extended postseason run.

``He's beat up. He's been banged up for a while,'' Fredi Gonzalez said. ``Again, a one-game series, you go with Rossy. In a longer series, (McCann is) going to play. He's not that banged up.''

McCann said he understood the decision.

``I wish I was playing. But I'm not. That's it,'' he said. ``Rossy's been playing unbelievable. I'm his biggest fan. He's one of my best friends in the world and he's been playing great.

``I'll hopefully get in there somehow, maybe pinch-hit late. We'll see.''

Ross called it the biggest game of his career, but stressed that McCann is still the team's primary catcher.

``He's done some things that are second to none in this game,'' Ross said. ``I'm going to go out there and give it my best, but I don't want to take anything away from Brian McCann.''

McCann said there's a good chance he's going to need shoulder surgery in the offseason. He's already had two cortisone shots, but doesn't plan on taking another one.

``I've been battling a shoulder injury for a while,'' he said. ``My production hasn't been where it needed to be to help the team win.''

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: MVP and Cy Young Odds
Iskoe: Daily Pitchers Report
Odorizzi, Rays sneak by Brewers 2-1
Blue Jays rout skidding Red Sox, 14-1
Marlins score 4 in 9th to beat Nats 7-6
Astros get homer-happy in win over A's
Ahmed propels D-Backs over Reds in 15
Wada earns 1st MLB win, Cubs top Rox
Darvish 8 Ks, Rangers beat Yankees 4-2
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
18-7 L25 Guarantees, +8,075 TY
12-3 L4 Days, 14-6 L20 Totals
15-4 L19 Totals, +2,949 This Year
5-0 L5 Guarantees, 7-0 L7 Totals
+2,082 Picks This Season
4-1 +333 Y'day, +1,988 This Year
17-5 L22 G-Plays, +1,659 TY
5-1 L2 Days, 21-9 L30 Streak
3-1 L4 G-Plays, +2,069 This Year
7-3 L10, 13-7 +601 L6 Days
6-3 L9, 12-6 +573 L18 Guarantees
3-0 +320 L3 Picks, +2,557 TY
5-2, +349 L7 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Antony Dinero
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 8075
Bruce Marshall + 2949
The Gold Sheet + 2557
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3379
James Manos + 2687
Dave Cokin + 1377
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2304
Matt Zylbert + 1874
Tony Stoffo + 1489
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1194
Doc's Sports + 937
Kevin Rogers + 832
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3675
Mike Rose + 1572
Kevin Rogers + 1541
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2156
Bruce Marshall + 1461
The Gold Sheet + 1124
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!