Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yankees expecting big season out of McCann in 2015

It's tough to dispute the viewpoint that Brian McCann's 2014 season was a bit of a downer after he signed that big deal with the Yankees last winter, but that doesn't mean the team doesn't still have big expectations for his future. 

"I think McCann came on strong for us in the second half [of last year], and I think next year we'll have a full season of what we expected from him," GM Brian Cashman told

McCann certainly seemed to labor at times during his first year in pinstripes, batting just .232/.286/.406 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 140 games. Those numbers, similar to the ones he put up from 2010-2013 with the Braves, appear to be part of an ongoing decline for the catcher, who hasn't hit higher than .270 since 2009.

Yet the Yankees are continuing to rely on McCann for much of their success as Opening Day nears, inconsistent as he was for them last season.

"It's important," Cashman said, referring to the Yankees' counting on McCann improving. "It's important. Bottom line, it's important."

It probably should be indeed, but that still doesn't necessarily justify scapegoating McCann for New York's recent all-around struggles. 

Besides him, outfielder Carlos Beltran's average reached just .233, first baseman Mark Teixeira's .216 and second baseman Stephen Drew's .150 last year, so McCann definitely wasn't the only one on the club to underperform. But since McCann still has four seasons left on his contract, it is somewhat understandable why he could be singled out in some cases, especially when one considers that those years will pay him a total of $68 million. 

No matter how you choose to look at it, though, the Yankees are at least acknowledging their bad offensive campaign.  

"We need to be a better offensive club than we were last year," Cashman said. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)