ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have benched catcher Brian McCann for Friday’s wild-card playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez made the announcement Thursday before a workout at Turner Field. David Ross will start and bat seventh, the only change in the Braves’ regular lineup.
Plagued by injuries, McCann has endured the worst year of his career. He batted just .230 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs.
Gonzalez says he made the move more for defense than offense, 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 vs. Washington on Sept. 14.