Sept. 14, 2010
Matt McBride's play behind the plate as much as anything that helped open the door to professional's baseball. But now that a shoulder injury has effectively ended any thoughts of him as an everyday catcher, it's his bat that has propelled him on a quick trip up the Cleveland minor league system and will ultimately determine his future.
McBride underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum following the 2007 season, then hit .276 in 47 games at the rookie and Single-A levels the following season. A torrid start at Single-A Kingston in 2009 (.405 in 31 games) earned him a promotion to Double-A, where he only hit .247 but popped 12 homers and knocked in 63 runs in 351 at-bats to help the Aeros, then managed by Sarbaugh, win the Eastern League title.
Sarbaugh moved up to Triple-A this year, and McBride joined him in late July after hitting .353 with 13 homers and 32 RBIs in his last 28 games with the Aeros, leaving with a .283 average, 17 homers and 64 RBIs in 96 games.
As a parting gift, the Eastern League named McBride the player of the month for July, when he hit .352 with 10 doubles, 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 25 games.
To read the full article by Jeff Schuler of Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call click here