Thursday afternoon, Braves fans worst fears were realized as All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman was diagnosed with a fractured left wrist and will miss approximately eight weeks. Freeman, who was hit by an Aaron Loup pitch on Wednesay night showed immediate discomfort and a troubling sign as his first few steps were towards the Braves first base dugout.The injury is a big blow to an offense that was starting to click, led by Freeman’s NL leading 14 home runs.
Following Wednesday night’s game, Brian Snitker said tests done on Freeman were “inconclusive” and that Freeman would undergo further testing this morning. But on Thursday, those tests revealed Freeman had in fact fractured the wrist and would need to be sidelined until late July, at the earliest. Freeman had entered play second in the NL in OBP (.457), third in slugging (.754) and walks (34), tied for fifth in walks (26) and his .343 average was sixth best in the League.
So, now that they’ll be without their three-hole hitter for at least two months, where do the Braves go from here? The club doesn’t currently have a true back-up for Freddie Freeman as the roster is currently constructed. We’ve seen Nick Markakis fill in a few times there, and Wednesday night, Jace Peterson was moved from third base (where he was starting in place of Adonis Garcia, who just went on the DL). The Front Office may have to begin the search for external options that could be available. For now, it’s the “next man up” mentality for the Atlanta Braves who will have to carry on without their biggest offensive threat.