The Mets wide receiver started at first base for his first professional appearance at the post, allowing manager Luis Rojas to place an additional experienced right bat into the lineup. McCann hit third and did a homer in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Rockies at Citi Field.
Placing Pete Alonso on the injured list on Friday with a sprained right hand had meant a combination of Dominic Smith and Brandon Drury playing the position for the weekend series in Miami, in which Rojas said the Team leaders had discussed the idea with McCann, who had last played first. base in college.
“It’s a position I’m going to say [McCann] is familiar with it, although he hasn’t played there professionally, but he knows the job, ”Rojas said ahead of the game. “He’s worked there before, he looked good to us, so I don’t think we’re going to be compromised with him playing first from a defensive standpoint.
McCann was tested early, diving to his right in the second inning to stop Josh Fuentes’ grounder before throwing David Peterson covering the sack.
“It really relaxed me a bit, knocking out the first one,” McCann said. “I joked with the guys, I said, ‘I haven’t felt that kind of jitters in a while, playing defense.’ “
All-around options were limited for the Mets, with Drury, Wilfredo Tovar, Khalil Lee and Patrick Mazeika as bench options for a team that has 16 players on the IL.
“We feel pretty good and have bats there [with McCann], which is what we need right now, ”Rojas said. “We need presences in the lineup. We’re up against a southpaw, and McCann is a guy that we think with other guys we can make leads.
JD Davis is expected to receive first base reps at Triple-A Syracuse, but he may not join the club until the Mets end their stay at home on Sunday, according to interim general manager Zack Scott. Davis was on the rehab trail with a sprained left hand, but was wiped out from his Sunday start with a stiff neck.
Scott is hoping Alonso will return next week, adding that the first baseman may need minor league rehab games.