ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman received the confirmation he was seeking regarding his left wrist and then successfully lobbied to be in the Braves' lineup for Thursday night's 12-4 win in the series opener against the Mets at SunTrust Park."It's not broken," Freeman said. "I told Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos]
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman received the confirmation he was seeking regarding his left wrist and then successfully lobbied to be in the Braves' lineup for Thursday night's 12-4 win in the series opener against the Mets at SunTrust Park.
"It's not broken," Freeman said. "I told [Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos] and everybody last night, 'If it's not broken, I'm playing today.' It's not broken. So, I'm in there."
Freeman didn't waste any time showing off his swing Thursday, hitting a sacrifice fly as the Braves pounced on the Mets' Matt Harvey to build a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Freeman also made a diving grab on a liner to rob Jay Bruce of a hit in the fourth. He finished 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Freeman was still feeling some soreness as he filled his normal roles as the Braves' first baseman and three-hole hitter. But that discomfort paled in comparison to the mental and physical pain he would have felt if his left wrist had been fractured by a pitch for a second straight year.
There was certainly reason to be concerned when Freeman's left wrist was struck by left-hander Hoby Milner's fastball during the eighth inning of Wednesday night's 7-3 win over the Phillies. The scene conjured memories of last season, when Freeman was hit in essentially the same area by Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup's fastball.
"It missed [the bone] I broke last year by about half an inch," said Freeman, who missed seven weeks with the left wrist fracture sustained on May 17.
Freeman was thinking about the similarities when he felt the sting of Milner's pitch. This prompted him to exit the batter's box and walk directly to SunTrust Park's X-ray room. But he wasn't feeling the same throbbing and aching, which gave him hope.
Though Wednesday's X-rays did not show a fracture, Freeman was not completely relieved until he went through a variety of tests and underwent a CT scan while visiting Dr. Gary Lourie on Thursday morning.
"I was pretty ecstatic last night," Freeman said. "Last year, there was about an 80 percent chance it was broken when I left [the ballpark]. This time, when I left the stadium, Dr. Lourie said, 'I don't think it's broken at all.'"
After arriving at the stadium early Thursday afternoon, Freeman took some swings in the batting cage and had little trouble lobbying Braves manager Brian Snitker to put him in the lineup.
Asked if he had any concerns about allowing Freeman to play with a bruised wrist, Snitker said he did not.
The Braves certainly had reason to fear the worst when Anibal Sanchez was carted off the field with an air cast stabilizing his right leg a few hours before Wednesday's game. But it appears the veteran right-hander might miss just a couple of weeks with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain.
"It's going to be awhile before he gets on the mound, but it might be a lot sooner than we had thought," Snitker said.
The Braves initially thought Sanchez might be sidelined for a few months with the injury suffered while completing sprints in the outfield grass. But the pitcher's condition quickly improved Wednesday night.
Matt Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make Sanchez's scheduled start on Thursday night. Outfielder Lane Adams was designated for assignment to create a roster spot for Wisler. The Braves are hopeful Adams goes unclaimed on waivers.
"He's done a really good job," Snitker said. "Hopefully, everything works out that we can keep him. It's unfortunate, but it's just one of those moves we had to make."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. Listen to his podcast.