PHILADELPHIA -- When the Braves and Phillies conclude their three-game series on Sunday, Brian McCann will experience his first All-Star break since the one that he enjoyed two months after making his Major League debut in 2005.
But instead of dwelling on his disappointing first half, McCann will spend the next few days preparing to be a father for the first time. His wife, Ashley, could give birth to their first child, a boy, as early as this week.
"It could happen any day now, so it's a blessing that I'm able to stay home and enjoy the next four days at home before the season's second half starts," McCann said. "I'll be at the house not doing a lot."
McCann is the only player in Braves history to earn an All-Star selection in each of his first six full Major League seasons. His streak came to a close this year, as he struggled throughout much of the past three months. He entered Saturday hitting .231 with 11 home runs and a .702 OPS.
"I'm taking this as a positive, I really am," McCann said. "I feel like I need to get back to really understanding my swing and what I do. I truly believe I used to be really, really good at that. I've kind of fallen in a rut where I'll hit .270 with 20 [home runs], and that's what I've done the past few years. But I know I'm better than that, and I feel this is kind of a wake-up call."
McCann has been adjusting his swing since developing bad habits after returning too soon from a strained left oblique muscle late last July. The veteran catcher started feeling comfortable this week, and homered on Thursday and Friday.
"I'm in a spot now where I haven't been in a couple years as far as comfort," McCann said.