Brian McCann “frustrated” by performance, Joe Girardi says
Brian 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.”