Freeman (elbow) out early, to miss KC series

September 22nd, 2019

ATLANTA -- Instead of traveling to Kansas City for two-game series this week, will remain in Atlanta to undergo treatment on his right elbow, which has been bothered by a bone spur over the past few weeks.

The Braves' first baseman is hopeful a few days of treatment will provide him a chance to return to the lineup next weekend and then, more importantly, go through the postseason without any further discomfort or limitations.

“It’s obviously not ideal, but it responded pretty well with that off-day last week [this past Monday],” Freeman said. “So, we’re just going to hope four days off will do the real trick.”

Freeman was removed from a Sept. 13 game at Nationals Park, but his elbow discomfort subsided enough for him to play the entirety of the game the next afternoon. He also played the first six innings of the Sept. 15 series finale against the Nationals and then rested during this past Monday’s off-day.

Unfortunately, the rest only provided a couple days of relief. Freeman gained more rest on Saturday, when Braves manager Brian Snitker sat many of his regulars a day after clinching the National League East.

But Freeman’s elbow was once again problematic during Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to the Giants. He delivered an RBI groundout during the sixth inning and then was removed at the start of the eighth inning.

“At times, it bites him, and then he does treatment and he’s good for an extended period,” Snitker said. “It’s nothing worse. It’s probably not as bad as the last time, actually. But it’s enough that if we have enough time to let him sit and get it better, then we’re going to take it.”

Once Freeman exited Sunday’s game, the Braves knew he would not play against the Royals in a two-game series that begins Tuesday. So instead of having him spend an off-day in Kansas City on Monday and another in New York on Thursday, the decision was made to allow him to remain in Atlanta for treatment.

When Freeman flies to New York on Friday with the expectation to be in the lineup that night against the Mets, he hopes to resume the MVP-caliber production he provided most of this season. He recorded consecutive three-hit games in Philadelphia on Sept. 9 and 10, but slashed .103/.298/.138 over the 38 plate appearances (10 games) that followed. He hasn’t homered since increasing his season total to 38 with a two-homer game on Sept. 1.

“I feel all right,” Freeman said. “Everyone deals with injuries. I’ve dealt with this one for a couple years, but it is frustrating that it keeps popping up as quickly as it is right now. I don’t think it’s affecting anything. Hopefully, these next four days will make it all go away.”