Braves’ nightmare becomes reality: Freddie Freeman out about 10 weeks

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is removed by manager Brian Snitker as trainer Jim Lovell watches after the player was hit by a fifth-inning pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at SunTrust Park on Wednesday night. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

What was presumed Wednesday night became reality Thursday: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman suffered a fractured left wrist.

Freeman will miss “approximately 10 weeks,” the Braves announced in a release Thursday afternoon.

To put it another way, Freeman will be out until at least late July or early August, well after the All-Star break. Even then there likely will be a period during which Freeman works to regain his strength in his hands and wrist, and, therefore, his hitting touch.

I’ll have a full column later with comments from players and coaches. But until then, here are some quick thoughts on the injury:

• As I wrote in a blog Thursday night, Freeman is the one player the Braves’ couldn’t afford to lose. I’m not one who has ever believed this team was going to make the playoffs. But at 16-21 and five games out of a playoff berth after 37 games wasn’t an awful position, especially given the state of the team’s pitching staff. One could at least talk themselves into believing the Braves had a shot. But with their best player now sidelined at least two months, those hopes look dead.

• Stating the obvious here: Freeman’s absence will crush the Braves’ everyday lineup. That’s not taking anything away from the fine seasons of Matt Kemp, Tyler Flowers and Nick Markakis. But you don’t take away 36.8 percent (14 of 38) of a team’s home runs, 20.1 percent (35 of 175) of its runs scored and 19.5 percent (101 of 517) of its total bases without significant impact. Also, they have no obvious choice to place first base. Jace Peterson moved to first base for the first time in his major league career after Freeman’s injury.

•  There are some athletes who project to fans as good guys, but in truth there not the greatest people behind the scenes. That’s not the case with Freeman. He’s as fine and genuine a person as there is and dedicated to his profession and team, so it’s especially tough to see him go down like this on a personal level, even aside from the professional aspect. The fact he was having an MVP-caliber season — with a major-league leading 14 homers, 11 doubles, 27 walks, .341 batting average, 1.209 OPS — makes it even worse.

• Freeman was one OF eight batters hit in the Past three games against Toronto. But, no, I don’t believe reliever Aaron Loup intentionally plunked Freeman. The pitch was inside but not stupidly inside. There’s also this: Loup has hit four batters in only 16 1/3 innings this season. Actually, he’s hit four batters in his Past seven outings, encompassing only 4 2/3 innings. So unless you’re of the opinion he’s a contracted hit man, there’s no reason to think it was intentional. I’m more apt to believe he just stinks.

Of course, you’re free to disagree. And that’s not to suggest there won’t be retribution tonight.

I’ll have more in a full column later.

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Reader Comments 0

40 comments
E983
E983

John Gibbons is the one that should be hit. I hope he's fired before the AllStar game.

OH:IO
OH:IO

dogs relate:


The Injuries

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

@OH:IO  The excuses.  We coulda won it all 2 seasons ago if Chubb hadn't gone down with an injury.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Without Freddie...we'll be losing steady.

Cheecho
Cheecho

Darn. Maybe those $105 seats will be reduced.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Yeah, the season is shot. It was probably already shot even with Freddie, but at least he made the team worth watching. Now there's no reason not to sell off parts and bring up the kids. It sucks that we're looking at another long summer, but we might as well accept that reality now and start looking ahead to 2018, when this team might finally be able to start competing again.


On that note, I wouldn't give up anything of value for a two-month stopgap at first base. Unless that guy has positional versatility and can move around the diamond when Freeman comes back, it's just not worth giving up future assets to try to save a season that's almost certainly lost.


One final comment: If, as expected, the team is hopelessly out of contention by the time Freeman is eligible to come off the DL, I would have to give strong consideration to shutting him down for the year. Hand and wrist injuries are brutal on hitters. Let Freddie take as much time as he needs and come back strong in '18.

neutral site
neutral site

@We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

The 10 weeks likely includes the rehab time.

He'll likely return this season if just to get back to facing live pitching.


This does just suck. 

Falcaints
Falcaints

An average team lost an above average player, yawn Atlanta sports.

neutral site
neutral site

Just awful.

Ballplayers only get so many shots at great seasons. Freddie was on a tear, but dang it, you almost just knew something would go wrong.

kman81
kman81

Even more worrisome is that their best pitcher can't get anyone out anymore.  

jac200
jac200

and with that, management has their excuse for another lost season (year #3 of the 'rebuild').

RogerBurke
RogerBurke

better be looking for a recent retired first basemen to star playing


Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Coppy spins the wheel of misfortune and lands on Rio Ruiz . A 3B , who will now try to learn to play 1B and hit MLB pitching Simultaneously. Come on John #3,time to become the real GM of the Braves .Get out from under the other two Johns Shadow. Step up for the fans of Atlanta and go get a real MLB first baseman to fill in for Freddie. 

But as usual typical Braves move of the past 3 years, make an excuse (Losing Freeman for 60 to 70 Games ) and tell the fans , things happen we will be better in 2018 , when more of our real prospects will be in AA and AAA. Then wait for another disaster to happen in 2018 and give us the same routine again. Prove me wrong Coppy , earn your GM stripes . Unload some of those prospects(some of which are more likely suspects) and improve the Braves. 16-21 not terrible and the Braves are actually in 2nd Place in the NL East. This says more about the state of the NL East than the Braves. But things were looking up, this week ,until another unlucky Break Freddie's wrist. Get well soon Freddie .

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Step up Coppy, Call Billy Beane ASAP. Yonder Alonzo stop gap replacement for Freddie. Good OPS(.991) and he is in his walk year FA in 2018. If Coppy really wants to make a big move ,Ask Beane about including 3B Trevor Plouffe OPS (.708) in the Deal ., Another player in his walk year FA 2018. Use some of those stockpiled pitchers on the farm. This is why you gather prospects ,to use in a time of need!

Charlotte
Charlotte

Wow !  How disappointing for Freddie & an obvious All-Star season in the making.  This is hurtful both for him & the Braves.  Get well Freddie. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

Season is shot.  Every Blue Jay hitter should get one in the rib cage tonight.  Jays have been hitting our guys for three straight nights and now ended the Braves season.  

kerryb
kerryb

Their best hitter needs to be pounded inside on his hands.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@kerryb Yep. Braves need to show some backbone.  They took out one of ours, we need to take out one of theirs.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Big Wally No Wally,

I hope Julio steps up and throws 6 shutout innings tonight. No need to do something stupid and get tossed early. If there is to be retaliation do it late , make Joey Bats think about it for a while. Gibbons may sit him though to avoid any more turmoil.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally @kerryb Love you dog two sport expertise....ok ok, make that three...add lady gym dogs to the list. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Big Wally Boy ,

I really missed on this one, Julio should have plunked early and often, and  got ejected . Might have been the best way to win ,get Julio out early. But Stroman shut out the Braves anyway. 1-0 or 9-0 you don't score ,you lose.

kerryb
kerryb

I read where a Braves veteran player said there was going to be a fight tonight. Let's hope so. They need to hit everyone of their guys until all of our pitchers are thrown out. Really doesn't matter. Any chance we had of a good season are gone now anyway.

BlawgDawg
BlawgDawg

Third bullet point: "there not the greatest people behind the scenes.".  "There"?  Really, Jeff?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BlawgDawg

You expect that in the comments sections, but not from the AJC staffers--UNTIL the past few years.

DawgNole
DawgNole

The AJC’s David O’Brien has confirmed the news, first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal."

_______________

How does Fox Sports scoop the AJC's beat writer on a major story related to the team he covers?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DawgNole Fox is the TV broadcast network for the Braves $$$$$$$$$$$ Dave works for the AJC $.