There are certain difficulties when your best hitter is your catcher. The biggie is that you lose him for thirty-odd games, and even with a good backup (for once) it’s a big hole in your offense. It doesn’t help when he goes on the shelf for a couple of weeks with a bizarre eye problem where his laser surgery apparently reversed itself.
McCann had a slight off year, compared to his 2006/2008 standards, and maybe has set up a Bret Saberhagen pattern of alternate good years/bad years, but even in an off year he was the best catcher in the league, hitting .281/.349/.486, and most of the loss from 2008 can be attributed to his problems in April. He didn’t have a big home run streak like he usually has, but still finished with a team-high 21.
Brian was pretty terrible against lefties in 2009, hitting only .225/.309/.325. This is an aberration, as he had always hit lefties pretty well before. I am guessing that the eye problems were to blame, that the glasses he wore in his comeback caused depth perception issues, but that’s just a guess. If he has surgery again this offseason, as I’ve heard he would (or already has) the problem will maybe go away.
Threw out 24 percent of baserunners; this is a “career best” in that in previous years he’s been at 23 and 21 percent. It’s really not a big deal; I think the net effect is maybe three runs a year. (Don’t hold me to that, but I doubt it’s much more.) People get much more worked up about basestealing than they really should. McCann calls a good game, and he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes… Four-time All Star, but always as a reserve. He’s backed up four different catchers in the game; this year they’ll probably vote in Yorvit Torrealba or something.