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Freeman progresses, takes swings in live BP

Exercise not necessarily planned, but first baseman felt strong
MLB.com @mlbbowman

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Freddie Freeman has not seemed bothered by any of the mental hurdles that he faced when he reported to Spring Training with some uncertainty still surrounding his right wrist.

Although he wasn't necessarily planning to do so, Freeman felt strong enough to give in to the urge to take a few swings as he faced Lucas Sims and Bud Norris during live batting practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Braves' first baseman had previously been limited to batting-practice exercises that did not include live pitches.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Freddie Freeman has not seemed bothered by any of the mental hurdles that he faced when he reported to Spring Training with some uncertainty still surrounding his right wrist.

Although he wasn't necessarily planning to do so, Freeman felt strong enough to give in to the urge to take a few swings as he faced Lucas Sims and Bud Norris during live batting practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Braves' first baseman had previously been limited to batting-practice exercises that did not include live pitches.

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"That will test your wrist right there," a smiling Freeman said as he ended the live BP session against Sims with what had the makings to be a single to right field.

Tweet from @Braves: .@FreddieFreeman5 in slo-mo. #BravesST pic.twitter.com/BMASaRQ2LK

As Freeman took some swings in the batting cages on Saturday, he began gaining the sense that he was ready to test the wrist a little more once he took batting practice. The plan had been for him to simply adjust his eyes to game speed by tracking some of the pitches thrown by Norris and Sims.

"I didn't know I was going to [swing] until I got in there and said, 'Oh, [the heck with it],'" Freeman said. "I felt good all day when I was hitting earlier. … It feels fine."

Freeman spent most of last season's final four months battling the discomfort that lingered after he suffered a bone bruise and sprained his right wrist on June 13. When he reported to camp earlier this week, he indicated that he was going to ease into his preparations because he'd had "some good days and some bad days" while swinging a bat over the past few weeks.

But Freeman has made steady progress going back to Wednesday, when he swung at overhand pitches in batting practice for the first time since September. He has now taken swings on consecutive days, but he will likely not be permitted to do so again on Sunday.

Freeman has said that one of the last hurdles he will need to clear from a physical standpoint will come when he is cleared to take swings on three consecutive days for the first time this year.

"I think they want me to take tomorrow off just for stress management," Freeman said. "I told them I was fine, but they just want to make sure it stays fine."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

 

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman