DENVER — Brian McCann hit a pair of two-run homers in the first two official at-bats of his first injury-rehab game Friday for Class-A Rome at Greensboro, N.C.
The veteran Braves catcher, who had shoulder surgery Oct. 16, is expected to have anywhere from 9-12 rehab games before being activated from the disabled list to rejoin the big-league club, manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The way he hit Friday, it’ll be interesting to see if the Braves wait that long. McCann had two homers and two walks in his first four plate appearances Friday.
Gonzalez said McCann would play three games this weekend at Greensboro, then one home game for Rome before moving to Triple-A Gwinnett to play about five games.
Beachy takes next step: Brandon Beachy threw five minutes of batting practice Friday afternoon, the first time the Braves pitcher has faced hitters since having “Tommy John” elbow surgery in June 2012.
Beachy mixed in all his pitches in the session with Andrelton Simmons batting against him Friday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit.
“I’m letting it go as much as I can right now, I guess, without trying to blow it out by any means,” Beachy said. “I’m not there yet, obviously. But I believe the strength will come.”
The right-hander could begin a rehab assignment within a few weeks and hopes to be ready to rejoin the Braves in late June around the one-year anniversary of his surgery.
“I’m not sure how many of these live BPs and all that stuff they have planned for me, but theoretically, yeah,” Beachy said of the rehab assignment. “I’m right where I want to be.”
Simmons said: “He looked good. His fastball looked pretty heavy. His breaking stuff was moving. I mean, you wouldn’t know that he just started throwing. You wouldn’t notice.”
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.