Brian McCann “frustrated” by performance, Joe Girardi says

Brian McCannBrian McCann was not in Tuesday’s lineup, getting a day off after catching all 12 innings in the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Rays. After that contest, McCann offered a harsh assessment of the first 81 games with his new team.

“Horrible,” McCann said. “I feel good behind the plate, but swinging the bat I need to get better.”

The Yankees made McCann their first big target of the winter makeover, seeing him as a perfect fit behind the plate, but McCann entered play on Tuesday batting .221 in 74 games. Joe Girardi has noted that McCann’s home runs (nine) and RBIs (36) are passable, but the Yankees manager believes that McCann has been bothered by his average.

McCann came into 2014 as a .277 lifetime hitter. His .642 OPS is the lowest among the 11 big league catchers with enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title, trailing the Astros’ Jason Castro (.655).

“His RBI totals aren’t too bad. His home runs aren’t too bad and I think he’s done a really good job with our pitching staff,” Girardi said. “When he looks at his average, I’m sure that he’s frustrated and knows that he can do better. I don’t want to just focus on one aspect of the game, because he has driven in some big runs for us and he has done a great job with our staff. He needs to remind himself of that too.”

Girardi again expressed confidence that McCann will “figure it out” and get his numbers to their expected levels. He said that he was not sure if McCann is having more trouble than anticipated adjusting to New York.

“It’s hard to say. I didn’t have a real history with him before, had not seen him much before because he was in the National League,” Girardi said. “I know he’s a guy that expects greatness every day and expects to get three hits every day, and a shutout every day. He takes a lot of pride in what he does. Sometimes you can take that a little bit too hard. I’m sure everything involved – you talk about coming to a new town, coming to a new contract, learning all these new pitchers, it can be difficult.”

McCann said after Monday’s loss that while the first 81 games haven’t gone as expected, he sees good things ahead.

“We just have to keep grinding,” McCann said. “I have faith in myself and I think we’re going to swing the bats better.”

4 Comments

Girardi hates the Yankees to bunt. As long as no one’s hitting: why not? Jeter on second base with no outs–bunt the guy to third. Get a run out of it! The big innings will happen once the confidence comes back. I don’t like Cashman (because he once let Pettitte go), but Girardi ought to change his philosophy re the bunt.

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Rowboat, I won’t forgive you for that comment. PEDitte is one of the worst pitcher the Yankees have spent on. He was caught cheating multiple times. Only pitchers worse are Clemens and Messina.

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this friggin team is offensively challenged. I think it’s a worse team than last year in spite of all the money paid out. It’s a total mess and I don’t see it getting any better. This AL East division is as 2 horse race, with the Jay and the O’s in front and the rest tagging on behind. I won’t be surprised if the Yankees drop down below the Red Sox and maybe even the Rays before the season is over. This has been terrible and who will be held responsible when it’s all over. It’s got to be Cashman as the GM. He’s the guy that put this group together knowing all the risks involved. And the Yankee farm system is a disaster with so few prospects ready to call up to jump start this team. There’s no quick fix here. This is a long term project and in the mean time Yankee fans are going to be very frustrated.

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Don’t try to cross the border.

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