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David Ross to Start Over Brian McCann in National League Wild Card Game

October 4th, 2012 at 9:39 PM
By Cody Fields

 

In what may be a sign of things to come for the Atlanta Braves, Fredi Gonzalez has selected David Ross to start in place of Brian McCann in the National League Wild Card game Friday evening against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Gonzalez cited defense and holding runners as a primary reason for Ross getting the call.

"It's one of those things where you feel [Ross] gives you a good chance to win a ballgame," Gonzalez told braves.com. "Defensively, we know how well he can throw people out. The Cardinals have a tendency to put people in motion a lot. With the combination of Rossy and starting pitcher Kris Medlen, maybe we have an opportunity to shut that down a little bit."

The move comes despite the fact that Kyle Lohse, a righty, is starting on the hill for the Cardinals, but McCann has been hampered since early in the season with a frayed labrum in his right shoulder.

"It's been hard," Gonzalez said. "I've been thinking about this for three or four days. Mac is a very important part of our team. He is a warrior. He battles.

"He's been banged up here for a while. God bless him. In the one-game series, you go with Rossy. In the longer series, [McCann] is going to play. He's not that banged up that he's not going to play."

The move also makes sense offensively, as Ross has three homers in 50 at-bats since Aug. 29. McCann, on the other hand, only has two home runs and a .201 average since Aug. 1.

McCann opted not to take a stint on the disabled list or have surgery on his ailing shoulder, even though he probably cost himself a $13 million option for 2013 with a .230 season average.

Gonzalez cited defense and holding runners as a primary reason for Ross getting the call.

"It's one of those things where you feel [Ross] gives you a good chance to win a ballgame," Gonzalez told braves.com. "Defensively, we know how well he can throw people out. The Cardinals have a tendency to put people in motion a lot. With the combination of Rossy and starting pitcher Kris Medlen, maybe we have an opportunity to shut that down a little bit."

The move comes despite the fact that Kyle Lohse, a righty, is starting on the hill for the Cardinals, but McCann has been hampered since early in the season with a frayed labrum in his right shoulder.

"It's been hard," Gonzalez said. "I've been thinking about this for three or four days. Mac is a very important part of our team. He is a warrior. He battles.

"He's been banged up here for a while. God bless him. In the one-game series, you go with Rossy. In the longer series, [McCann] is going to play. He's not that banged up that he's not going to play."

The move also makes sense offensively, as Ross has three homers in 50 at-bats since Aug. 29. McCann, on the other hand, only has two home runs and a .201 average since Aug. 1.

McCann opted not to take a stint on the disabled list or have surgery on his ailing shoulder, even though he probably cost himself a $13 million option for 2013 with a .230 season average.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, David Ross, MLB

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