Notes: McCann sits after injuring finger

Notes: McCann sits after injuring finger

MIAMI -- Other than Chipper Jones, Brian McCann is the purest hitter in the Braves organization. Less than two full years into his career, he's already participated in an All-Star Game and given reason to argue that he's the National League's best offensive catcher.

But it's obvious that his early success hasn't caused him to forget how to play the game of baseball in a proper manner. When he got hit on the left ring finger during the ninth inning of Sunday afternoon's 9-6 win over the Mets, he was attempting to execute a sacrifice bunt that wasn't signaled from the Braves bench.

"I did that on my own," said McCann, who is hitting .339 after his first 62 at-bats this season. "We were only up three and I have a hard time with that lefty. I just wanted to get our guys in scoring position and not hit into a double play."

McCann's unselfish thought process was commendable. Fortunately, the results weren't devastating to him and the Braves. The Pedro Feliciano delivery caught him squarely on the left finger, leaving it black and blue.

Although McCann remained in the game and caught the bottom half of the ninth, Braves manager Bobby Cox opted not to put his All-Star catcher in the lineup for Monday night's series opener against the Marlins at Dolphins Stadium.

"I'm going to rest him tonight for sure, and maybe tomorrow, we'll see," said Cox, who filled McCann's vacancy with rookie catcher Brayan Pena.

McCann took batting practice on the field before Monday's game and didn't have any problems with his grip. If the finger reacts favorably overnight, he'll likely return to the lineup on Tuesday.

"It's black and blue, but nothing serious," said McCann, who hadn't attempted a sacrifice bunt since his 2005 rookie season. "I think I'll be fine tomorrow. When you're adrenaline is going, you really don't feel much of anything."

KJ sits: After seeing Kelly Johnson strike out a career-high four times on Saturday, Cox had no problem putting him back in the leadoff spot for Sunday's game. But after watching Johnson homer twice in the series finale against the Mets, the veteran skipper chose to sit his hot-hitting second baseman on Monday night.

"I want to get Woody [Chris Woodward] in there," Cox said. "We need to get him some more at-bats."

Although the left-handed hitting Johnson has hit .542 (13-for-42) in the past six games, the right-handed hitting Woodward may have been the better option against Marlins starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who, entering Monday, had allowed just three of the 26 left-handed hitters he'd faced to get on base.

Cormier update: While throwing the second and final inning of his Minor League rehab start for Class A Rome on Sunday afternoon, Lance Cormier felt some discomfort in his strained right triceps muscle. But he still plans to start Triple-A Richmond's game against Norfolk on Friday.

When Cormier suffered the strain on March 26, he was hoping that the discomfort last just a short period of time. Now that it still exists nearly a month later, he's come to realize that he's going to have to at least attempt to pitch through the pain.

Smoltz the QB? During the fifth inning of Sunday's game, John Smoltz raced toward the third-base line, barehanded a slow Tom Glavine roller and made an off-balance throw to retire his good friend.

While Smoltz thought it was the greatest play he's made, Cox says he's seen his 39-year-old veteran make a few similar plays over the course of his 20-season career.

"He's never gotten a Gold Glove and I know that he's deserved many," Cox said.

Cox's praise for Smoltz's athleticism continued on Monday afternoon, when he wondered how he would have fared had he chosen to play football.

"I'd like to see him set up behind the center for a football game, quarterbacking," Cox said. "He'd have been the greatest ever, maybe. I'm serious."

Not a first for Torre: When the Red Sox hit four consecutive homers against his team on Sunday night, it wasn't the first time Yankees manager Joe Torre had been in attendance to witness the rare feat.

While playing for the 1961 Milwaukee Braves, Torre saw Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas hit four straight homers in the seventh inning of a June 8 loss in Cincinnati.

Torre ended that homer streak with a groundout to third base.

Braves bits: Andruw Jones celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday. ... Cox earned his 127th career ejection in Sunday's sixth inning. He is now four away from matching John McGraw for the all-time record.

Coming up: The Braves will continue their three-game series against the Marlins on Tuesday night at 7:05 ET. They'll send Mark Redman (0-3, 8.62 ERA) to the mound to face Rick Vanden Hurk (0-1, 9.00 ERA).

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.