While a lot has gone right for the Astros in 2018, one thing that hasn’t is the health of catcher Brian McCann. McCann has been one of the most productive catchers in the league during his career, but Father Time has started to catch up with him.
McCann played in just 97 games last year with the Astros and this year he has been dinged up and ceded more and more playing time to Max Stassi who has performed well in 2018 (1.3 fWAR in 48 games). His right knee has put him on the disabled list repeatedly over the last year or so and it looks like he is going to go for a more permanent fix.
#Astros catcher Brian McCann will undergo surgery on right knee, sources tell The Athletic. Placed on DL today with right-knee issue for third time since Aug. 14. Expected to miss at least 4 to 6 weeks. HOU high on Stassi, who will become regular. Federowicz recalled as backup.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 3, 2018
While this is, in some respect, good news for Max Stassi as he will get a larger share of the playing time, it also makes one wonder about McCann’s future. While this timeline does seem to indicate that he will be back before the end of the season, if Stassi is playing well upon his return....playing time could be a challenge for the 34 year old catcher. The catching position is notoriously brutal on the human body and while on some rosters he could simply slide over to DH, the Astros have a ton of bats and many of them have more upside than his at this point in his career. This situaton also means that any chance of McCann’s 2019 option with the club vesting is likely out the window.
Brian McCann has posted a .206/.283/.323 line in 2018 with five home runs in 50 games.