Seven years after then-rookie catcher Brian McCann hit a three-run homer off Roger Clemens in his first postseason at-bat, he won't be in the Braves lineup when they play St. Louis in Friday's National League Wild Card playoff game.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez announced that veteran backup David Ross would start the Braves' first postseason game since 2010 instead of McCann, who's been slowed by a shoulder injury for much of a career-worst season.

"It's one of those things where you feel [Ross] gives you a good chance to win a ballgame," said Gonzalez, adding that McCann would play if the Braves win the Wild Card game and advance to a best-of-five division series against Washington. "I talked to him [Wednesday]. It was a good conversation. He understood. It's tough for both of us, but he understood.

"Mac is a very important piece to our team, and he's a warrior and he battles. But you feel that with Rossy back there, again, for one game.…"

McCann was an All-Star each of his first six full seasons before 2012, and a five-time Silver Slugger award winner regarded as the best-hitting catcher in the majors in recent years. His average plummeted this season to.230 with a .300 on-base percentage and .399 slugging percentage, his worst in each of those statistics for a full season and far below his .279/.351/.475 career slash line.

"I haven't played the way I wanted to play, and Rossy's been playing great," McCann said. "That's just the decision that he made…. I've been battling a shoulder injury for a while. Production hasn't been where I need it to be to help the team win."

McCann, 28, has a frayed labrum and cyst in his right shoulder, and two cortisone injections in the second half of the season provided only temporary relief. He said there's a "good chance" he will have shoulder surgery in the offseason, but would wait for the inflammation to subside with rest after the postseason and have a dye-contrast MRI to see how much damage there is.

He has also been slowed by knee tendinitis that affected his mobility behind the plate and kept him out of the lineup for a couple of games, though McCann insisted the knee hasn't affected his hitting.