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Tomahawk Chops: Brian McCann Takes Batting Practice

Exploring the hottest topics and latest trends in Braves Country.

Mike Zarrilli

There hasn't been a whole lot of news the past few days out of Braves camp. After beating the Tigers 5-3 on Wednesday afternoon, Cole Hamels and the Phillies knocked off the Braves, 10-5, thanks to some sloppy defense on Thursday.

The Braves are now 3-4 in the Grapefruit League and will face the Nationals this evening. Julio Teheran, who is coming off an impressive spring debut, will make the start.

The most noteworthy development is Brian McCann taking batting practice for the first time on Thursday morning. The All-Star catcher has been unable to do much in camp thus far as he continues to build up strength in his surgically-repaired right shoulder, although that changed with a short BP session. All reports indicated he felt good and did not have any major setbacks.

There's still no timetable for when McCann will begin playing in exhibition games. For as good as this lineup looks on paper, Mac returning to his old form could be the difference in between winning the National League East or earning a spot in the Wild Card Game.

Here are your links for the day. Be sure to check out the video from FOX Sports, which is an awesome segment on the troops getting in on a little baseball action.

FOX Sports Video - Spring Training to the Troops
FOX Sports and MLB stars bring spring training to members of the military overseas.

No worries for Braves after rough outings by Maholm, Kimbrel |
The calendar is just turning to March so Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez can shrug off the incongruity between the high expectations and shaky results for pitchers Paul Maholm and Craig Kimbrel.

McCann takes BP for first time this spring | News
Brian McCann was happy about the way his surgically repaired right shoulder felt on Thursday morning, when he took batting practice for the first time this year.

Braves thinking Gattis could catch on as catcher | News
The Braves have discussed the possibility of carrying Evan Gattis on the roster as a third catcher who would be available to pinch-hit and play either left field or first base if necessary. But the more the coaches have seen him hit, the more intrigued they have become with learning how well he might be able to handle the catcher's position.

Hard-throwing Braves prospect Graham makes big impression |
J.R. Graham is more than likely to start the season in a Braves minor league starting rotation, but count Detroit manager Jim Leyland among those who won’t be surprised if the hard-throwing prospect reaches the majors sooner than later.

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