For the first time since his rookie season in 2005, Brian McCann logged fewer than 400 plate appearances, as he spent time on the DL with head and knee injuries and split time behind the plate with Evan Gattis when healthy. With that, McCann's streak of nine consecutive seasons with at least 20 homers was snapped. He was still a slightly above-league-average hitter (103 wRC+), as McCann walked at a strong 9.5 percent clip and boosted his contact rate back up close to 85 percent. The quality of the contact wasn't all that great -- McCann posted the lowest hard-hit rate of his career (29.4 percent) and his 41.5 percent flyball rate was a five-year low -- but even so, the advanced numbers suggest McCann deserved a better fate in terms of batting average (.237 BABIP, .254 xBA). While he's pretty much a strict platoon player, McCann still does enough offensively to remain highly relevant at what is a wasteland of a position.
McCann is out of the lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Yankees on Monday. Evan Gattis will serve as Houston's backstop and hit sixth Monday night. McCann has struggled over the course of the postseason. Through six games he's gone just 2-for-22 (.091) at the plate.
McCann is out of the lineup Sunday against the Red Sox. McCann hit his 18th home run of the year in Saturday's 6-3 loss against Boston. He'll get the day to rest before Houston begins their upcoming playoff series versus the Red Sox on Thursday. Juan Centeno will start at catcher and hit eighth Sunday.
McCann is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Red Sox. McCann homered in two of the last three games, but he also started all three of those contests, so manager A.J. Hinch decided to give him Friday off in order to keep him fresh. Evan Gattis will get the nod behind the plate in McCann's place.
McCann went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Thursday's 12-2 rout of Boston. McCann has gone yard three times in the past six games after a fallow stretch in which he hit just one home run over 26 games. He needs three more over the final three games to register a 10th consecutive season with at least 20 home runs.
McCann is not in the lineup for Monday's game against the Rangers. McCann has started three of the last four games behind the dish, so he'll get a breather as Evan Gattis takes over for Monday's series opener. With the division already in hand, McCann figures to get plenty of rest in the final week.