Freddie Freeman to Miss 8 Weeks with Fractured Wrist
The Atlanta Braves were dealt a serious blow on Thursday when they learned All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman will miss significant time after fracturing his wrist during Wednesday’s game. Freeman was hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup in the fifth inning and was forced to leave the Braves’ 8-4 victory. The team feared it was a significant injury, and a CT scan and MRI showed a left wrist fracture that will cost Freeman at least eight weeks.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal initially reported the injury and that Freeman will not require surgery.
Freeman Will Be Missed
Obviously, Freeman’s absence will leave a massive dent in the middle of the Braves’ lineup. The two-time National League All-Star was in the midst of the best season of his career, and he’s currently hitting .341/.461/.748 with 14 homers and 35 runs batted in. Freeman will hit the disabled list on Thursday, though no corresponding roster move has yet been announced by the Braves.
Freeman’s 14 home runs are currently tied with Aaron Judge for the Major League lead. He has been by far the best hitter in the Atlanta lineup, and now the Braves are essentially left with an aging Matt Kemp and a bunch of dudes. It’s particularly awful considering Atlanta actually finds themselves sitting in second place in the NL East heading into play Thursday.
No Natural Replacement
Atlanta’s 16-21 record certainly doesn’t jump off the page, but they have still been something of a pleasant surprise after they posted one of the worst records in all of baseball last season. Atlanta doesn’t have a natural replacement for Freeman currently on the roster, so either they’ll dive into the minor league system or attempt to find a veteran free agent.
The Braves signed former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard to a minor league contract just after the season started, but released him earlier this month. Howard has still not said whether he plans to retire, but there has also been no indication as of yet that Atlanta has any interest in potentially bringing him back to replace Freeman at first base.
Infielder Jace Peterson moved from third base to first after Freeman exited Wednesday’s game. The Braves and Blue Jays will conclude their heated four-game series Thursday night at 7:35pm Eastern with Marcus Stroman set to take the mound opposite Julio Teheran.
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