Freddie Freeman the one player Braves’ couldn’t afford to lose

Freddie Freeman of the Braves is removed by manager Brian Snitker after being hit by a fifth inning pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at SunTrust Park (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

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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4 comments
Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

If your prediction about Freeman's injury  being severe enough for a long stint on the DL, time to get a short term replacement.#1 on my list would be Yonder Alonzo of the Oakland A's a  FA in 2018 who has some power and a decent OPS. 

The A's are in a rebuild mode, so package a group of Mid level pitching Prospects and make Beane a decent offer. Blair or Wisler and one younger prospect Drew Harrington and maybe another low level prospect Akeel Morris.

If Coppy is feeling frisky inquire about adding 3B Trevor Plouffe to the Deal. Give the A's Garcia, or Rio Ruiz and the other AAAA pitcher Wisler or Blair not included in the Alonzo deal. 

No guarantee that these moves would turn the 2017 Braves into  a contender, but it would show the fans that the ownership and front office are trying to put a credible MLB team on the field in Cobb.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

A breath of sunshine aren't we Schultzie. The kiss of death yesterday(bradley's fluff piece on Freeman) and here you are as the Grim Reaper tonight. 

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

Hopefully he's not seriously hurt. He's the undisputed leader of this ball club and the NL All Star at 1st. 

NYbrave
NYbrave

@JeffCriswell Ryan Zimmerman is hitting 33 points higher and has driven in 50% more runs.  Good chance he's the starter in the ASG.