Brian McCann refutes Terry Pendleton: 'I absolutely love it here'

Brian McCann follows through on a fourth-inning RBI

Brian McCann follows through on a fourth-inning RBI base hit against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

advertisement | advertise on newsday

CLEVELAND - Brian McCann didn't seem upset with the critical comments made by his former hitting coach, Terry Pendleton.

Mildly perturbed would be a better description.

"The only part of the article was the 'I'm not a New York guy,' " McCann said before Tuesday night's game here. "That was the only part I don't like. I absolutely love it here and it's been great so far."

In a published report Tuesday, Pendleton, McCann's hitting coach with the Braves, said "New York is not Brian," and that the catcher would "never be comfortable" with the expectations in the Bronx.

McCann, in the first year of a five-year, $85 million contract, entered Tuesday hitting .230 with a .289 on-base percentage with 10 homers and 38 RBIs. He said the pressure of performing in New York has nothing to do with his struggles but with mechanical issues he and hitting coach Kevin Long have started to figure out at the plate.

"I'm no longer toe-tapping," said McCann, who has become more crouched in his stance the last week. "I've gotten wider, I've gotten more into my base and basically I've been doing four or five unnecessary movements to get to the baseball."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Pendleton also maintained McCann has become strictly a "pull hitter," something that started his final two seasons in Atlanta because of the increase in shifting.

"Everyone's entitled to their opinion," said McCann, 8 for his last 21 entering Tuesday. "I've gotten off to a slow start. If I'm sitting here hitting .300, this isn't a story. But I'm not. But I feel like I've gotten some mechanical things ironed out and I'm back to attacking the baseball. The last four or five games, I've felt like myself and that I can drive the ball to all fields. K-Long and I have worked hard to get where I'm at."

Beltran 'feeling better'

DH Carlos Beltran missed a second straight game with swelling behind his right knee but said the goal is to be back in the lineup Wednesday. "I woke up feeling better," Beltran said. "I'm going to go hit BP and do everything today just to go through the whole program, but I feel a lot better."

Extra bases

Joe Girardi said Shane Greene, a rookie who pitched well in picking up his first career victory Monday night, will start Saturday in Baltimore. Chase Whitley, for now, is in the bullpen . . . The Indians placed righthander Justin Masterson, who lasted just two-plus innings Monday, on the disabled list with right knee inflammation.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: