Next Level Watch: McCann to make Major League debut

James McCann, a graduate of Dos Pueblos, is expected to be called up by the Detroit Tigers’ this week as MLB teams can expand their rosters during September.

McCann, a top catching prospect in Detroit’s minor-league ranks, should make his major-league debut in the very near future and would be the fourth prep product from Santa Barbara County to play in the Major Leagues this summer. The others are Dylan Axelrod, Danny Duffy and Cord Phelps.

McCann graduated high school in Goleta in 2008 before playing for Arkansas. He was drafted by the Tigers after his junior year with the Razorbacks.

Beat writer Chris Iott delved into McCann’s situation with manager Brad Ausmus. It sounds like McCann won’t see too much time for the pennant-chasing Tigers.

“Really, the crux of the reason I wouldn’t hit for (Bryan) Holaday yesterday is I don’t think putting McCann in a one-run or a tied game in the middle of a pennant race would be fair to McCann or to the pitchers,” Ausmus said. “He doesn’t have a feel for what these pitchers have thrown. He hasn’t worked with them. They don’t know him.”

Dylan Axelrod, Cincinnati Reds — After starting his career with the Chicago White Sox, the Santa Barbara High alum was traded to the Reds in July. Axelrod has been a valuable asset so far by providing a pair of strong starts in spot appearances. He owns a 1.64 ERA and picked up a win over the Chicago Cubs last Thursday.

“I think there was an awful lot of offspeed stuff, which typically isn’t put in play early in the count,” Reds manager Bryan Price said of Axelrod’s early approach on the Reds’ team website. “He went more to his fastball in those last three innings and had a lot more balls in play early in the at-bat, and it kept him out there through five.”

Axelrod is expected to stay with the Reds in September taking the place in the rotation of injured pitcher Homer Bailey.

Sergey Sushchickh & Max Davis, UCLA Cross Country — Both runners scored for UCLA in the Bruins’ season-opening meet in Sparks, Nevada, while helping lead the Bruins to a team victory at the Nevada Twilight Classic.

Sushchickh placed third overall with a time of 15:47 on the 5k course. Davis, a red-shirt freshman, finished ninth in 16:25. The UCLA men’s team topped four teams including second-place UC Riverside.

The two runners are Dos Pueblos alumni.

UCLA competes again on September 13 at the BYU Autumn Classic in Utah.