Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann had a poor season in 2012 after being one of the most reliable catchers in baseball since debuting in 2006. His struggles, in part, can be attributed to an injured shoulder that he will have surgery on, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
Braves orthopedic surgeon Dr. Xavier Duralde will surgically repair Brian McCann's shoulder at 2:30 pm ET today.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 16, 2012
McCann's timetable will be determined once the surgery is complete. Good news is this is a posterior fix. Full recovery expected by mid-Feb.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 16, 2012
McCann played in 121 games in 2012, a career low. He hit .230/.300/.399 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI. The average, on-base and slugging percentages were the worst of his career.
The 20 home runs were McCann's lowest total in a season since hitting 18 in 2007, just his second full season in the big leagues.
Prior to this season, McCann was a virtual lock to hit at least .275/.340/.450 with 20-plus home runs and play in 130 games. The Braves did make up for his lack of offensive punch with a nice bounce-back season from Jason Heyward.
But getting that kind of offensive production at the catching position is what made McCann so valuable to the Braves.
David Ross did a good job filling in for McCann, even starting the one-game Wild Card playoff against the St. Louis Cardinals, by hitting .256/.321/.449 in 62 games.
Getting McCann back completely healthy next season is critical for a Braves team that is losing Chipper Jones to retirement and could lose leadoff hitter Michael Bourn, who enters free agency and could be too pricey for the team to re-sign.
This was already shaping up to be an interesting offseason for the Braves, and McCann's surgery just made it a little more intriguing to watch.