McCann playing through shoulder pain

McCann playing through shoulder pain

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brian McCann understands that he could be damaging his financial future by continuing to play through the right shoulder discomfort that has plagued him this year. But as long as he feels he can benefit the Braves, the six-time All-Star catcher has no desire to take the selfish route.

McCann will be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2013 season. Other players in his position have chosen to protect their financial future by opting not to play through injuries. But the Braves' 28-year-old veteran will not allow himself to think of this possibility as long as his team is in contention to compete in the postseason.

"As long as I can play, I'm going to continue to play," McCann said. "We've got a chance to go to the playoffs and the World Series. I'm going to do everything I can to help us get there."

McCann battled through some shoulder discomfort early this season and then hit .296 with nine home runs and a .704 slugging percentage in 71 at-bats during the month of July. He considers it to have been one of the finest months of his career.

Since the end of July, McCann has been limited to eight hits -- all singles -- in 52 at-bats. This discouraging skid had dropped his batting average to .230 entering Friday night's game against the Giants. He entered this season with a .286 career batting average.

"This has been a weird year," McCann said. "But there is still time for me to get going and help this team get to the playoffs."

McCann has been bothered by what the Braves have termed a right shoulder subluxation. An MRI exam performed earlier this season showed a cyst on his shoulder and some fraying on his labrum.

Since receiving a cortisone injection Aug. 7, McCann has realized some relief.

Though his swing might still be somewhat limited by the ailment, he has repeatedly said that he feels great from a physical standpoint. He could not say the same at this point last year when he returned too soon from an oblique strain and then spent the season's final six weeks scared that he might aggravate the injury.

Before suffering the oblique injury, McCann's career statistics included a .291 batting average and a .492 slugging percentage. In the 136 games he has played since the injury, he has batted .218 with a .396 slugging percentage.