If one were making a list of players the Braves just can’t lose to an injury this season, Freddie Freeman would be listed first. The second player on the list would be a long debate.
So, of course, No. 1 just went down.
Freeman, who had been putting up MVP numbers for a 16-21 team, was hit by a pitch on the base of the left wrist by Toronto relief pitcher Aaron Loup in the fifth inning. He immediately left the game and appeared to be in significant pain.
Manager Brian Snitker said afterward that initial X-rays on Freeman’s wrist were “inconclusive.” The player will undergo an MRI and a CT scan Thursday.
The Braves won 8-4 but the result of the game was obviously secondary to the Freeman’s injury.
“I’m pretty much worried about Freddie right now,” Snitker said.
The Braves have had to rely on their offense most of the season since their pitching has often failed them and Freeman has been at the center of that attack. He entered the night with 14 homers, 25 RBIs, 11 doubles, 26 walks, .343 average, .457 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.211. He reached base in 33 of 37 games.
Without Freeman, the Braves not only lose their best hitter and the No. 3 batter in the order, they lose their first baseman. How significant is that? Jace Peterson moved from third base to first base after the injury, playing the position for the first time in his career. Freeman had played in every game, every inning all season.
Had the Ryan Howard experiment worked out, he could’ve served as a back up first baseman, but he was released after 11 games in Gwinnett (AAA). Unless the Braves plan to go with Peterson in Freeman’s absence, they will need to add a first baseman to the roster.
What they won’t be able to do is replace his offense if he’s out for an extended period.
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