Catcher Brian McCann enters his second season with the New York Yankees.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Don't expect a sophomore slump for 31-year-old New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann. McCann is confident he can help the Bronx Bombers in the upcoming 2015 season. There's nothing brash about this seven-time All-Star, but he is confident in his abilities.
"I learned a lot about myself," McCann said about his first season with New York in 2014. "Early in the year, it wasn't going the way I planned it, but I settled in near the end and figured out some mechanical things that I was doing wrong."
"Certain balls that I always got to, I was fouling them off," McCann continued. "I was getting 2-0 fastballs and fouling them off over the third-base dugout. That's something that I've never really done. It took me longer than I thought to correct it, I guess, and now that I've got it corrected, the ball is coming off great."
McCann had .232 average with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs in 2014.
"People want to look at his average and say that he didn't have the year we were expecting," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought he had a really good year. You think about what he went through, having to learn basically 12 new pitchers, then having to learn a whole new rotation. When you look at the end numbers, he was still pretty darn productive."
"The shift is always going to be there," McCann said regarding how defenses approach his style. "If I hit two or three singles in a row to left field, they're going to continue to play the shift, because that's where my power is. That's just the way it is, and whether that takes a couple of points off my batting average, if I take the approach I have day in and day out for 500 at-bats, at the end of the year things will be there."
The Yankees expect McCann's best in 2015.
"He has a better idea of what to expect, a much better idea of what the league is all about and who the players are on each one of the teams -- how they're going to face him," Girardi said. "It should be an easier adjustment."