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Sunday August 7th, 2022 10:01PM

Mets C James McCann comes off IL, Patrick Mazeika sent down

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — James McCann was activated off the injured list Thursday and said he looked forward to contributing down the stretch for the New York Mets, who stood pat at catcher at the trade deadline.

The Mets’ catchers — McCann, Tomás Nido and Patrick Mazeika — have been solid defensively while working with a staff that had a 3.56 ERA heading into their game against Atlanta, the fifth-lowest mark in the majors.

But the catchers had combined for three homers and a .523 OPS at the plate.

Mets general manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday he thought there were times leading up to the deadline when he was close to swinging a deal for a catcher. But with Francisco Alvarez, the club’s top prospect, at Triple-A Syracuse, he felt comfortable with McCann and Nido continuing to man the position for the short-term.

Mazeika was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for McCann on the active roster.

“It’s one of those things you control what you can control,” McCann said before the series opener against the Braves. “Obviously, the faith that they’ve put in us means a lot. But their expectations for me are never going to be as high as my expectations for me. I know what I can contribute to this team, both offensively and defensively.”

McCann signed a $40.6 million, four-year deal with New York in December 2020. He was batting just .183 with two homers in 30 games when he was activated.

He has been limited this season due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand and a left oblique injury he suffered while trying to make a tag against Miami on July 10.

McCann returned to the NL East leaders two days after Jacob deGrom made his season debut after missing the first four-plus months recovering from a scapula injury.

DeGrom, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, is expected to start the series finale against the second-place Braves on Sunday, one day after three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer is scheduled to pitch in a doubleheader.

“Finally got the 1-2 punch that everyone dreamed of,” McCann said. “And the way everyone’s throwing one through five, it has been a lot of fun to watch.”

___

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