Brian McCann, 2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review
Brian McCann suffered an injury-plagued and unproductive 2018 season for Houston, only appearing in 63 games with 189 AB while sinking to career lows in AVG, OBP, and SLG. As a result he did not hit the benchmarks for starts and plate appearances that would have guaranteed his final contract year with the Astros, and so it was no great shock that Houston declined his $15M option for 2019.
Meanwhile, Kurt Suzuki signed a 2-year contract with the Nats, breaking up half of the Flozuki catching tandem that had been surprisingly effective for the Braves over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. So on November 26 2018, the Braves announced that after five long years of wandering in the wilderness of the AL, Brian McCann was returning home on a one-year $2M contract.
Overall, Brian improved on his abysmal 2018 with a slash line of .249/.323/.412 that was more in line with his performance over his preceding AL seasons. However, he was again bit by the injury bug with two stints on the IL, the first for a hamstring strain in early April, and then for a sprained knee in late August. He was a positive contributor at the plate through July, but his performance declined noticeably as the season wore on, and when he was in the lineup over the last two months it was 2018 redux. In the postseason, his struggles continued going 3 for 16 with one double and one walk. He announced his retirement from the locker room on the day the season died. It was time.
I’ll leave the career retrospective to others who will undoubtedly do a much better job, but I’ll always remember him fondly. Thanks for the memories Brian.