On Tuesday morning, Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman was scratched from the lineup with right elbow inflammation. Yonder Alonso will play first base and hit third instead. The Braves’ official Twitter account announced the move was made as a precaution. Doctors expected some irritation as Freeman ramped up baseball activities. Brian Snitker says Freeman will be re-evaluated in a few days.
During the offseason, Freddie Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove two large bone spurs from his right elbow. Freeman was bothered by the bone spurs throughout much of the 2019 season and struggled down the stretch as a result. Freddie attributed his struggles to poor play and not the elbow. Following the surgery, Freeman said that he felt pain-free for the first time in years.
If Freeman misses extended playing time, then the Braves will have an option. In February, they signed Yonder Alonso to a minor league deal. Alonso had a tough 2019, but he hit 23 HR in 2018. While he doesn’t fill the void Freeman would leave, he does provide some pop to ease the tension.
No Need to Panic Yet
It’s likely that this will simply be a matter of letting Freeman rest for a day or two so anxiety and panic aren’t necessary at this point. The front office has done a great job of preparing for these situations. Luckily, it’s still the first week of Spring Training so the Braves have plenty of time to ensure that Freeman is ready for Opening Day.
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