During a game Tuesday night, Braves catcher Brian McCann attempted to throw out a would-be base-stealer. Not only did the throw sail away; McCann injured himself on the play, and had to be removed. The initial word was that he'd hurt his side, and now we've got more details. Tim Brown:
Brian McCann on DL with strained left oblique. Bad news for Braves. Beltran getting more important for them by minute.
The bad news is obvious. McCann is really good. Like, extraordinarily good. He's a catcher with an OPS near .900. And now he's going to miss at least the next few weeks with one of them nagging injuries that you can't rush. There are few bigger injury blows than losing a backstop like Brian McCann.
But the good news is that the Braves should survive. For one thing, they have a considerable lead in the NL Wild Card. And for another, their backup catcher is David Ross, he of the career .774 OPS. Ross has hit everywhere, and though the 34-year-old is probably over his head as a starter, he can surely fake it for a little while until McCann can come back. So though McCann is a big loss, Ross is handy insurance.
Brown suggests this could put more pressure on the Braves to make a Carlos Beltran trade happen. I don't know if that's true, but the Braves could've really used Beltran even before McCann went down, just because Beltran is awesome, so this certainly doesn't reduce their incentive any.