CHICAGO -- Freddie Freeman has gotten a taste of various ways to gain an All-Star selection. He won the National League’s Final Vote in 2013 and then garnered more votes than any other Major Leaguer during last year’s balloting.
Now Freeman finds himself as one of the seven Braves players on the Starters Election portion of the Google MLB All-Star Ballot, which is taking place over a 28-hour period that ends on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
“It’s amazing the past couple years what the Braves fans have done for us,” Freeman said. “It’s not just to do it. These guys in this clubhouse are really good and they’re having great seasons and they all deserve to go.”
The Braves, Cubs and Astros were the only teams to have seven players advance from the Primary portion of the balloting to the Starters Election, which began Wednesday at noon ET.
Freeman received more votes than any other first baseman during the initial stage of this new balloting process and Ozzie Albies was the top vote-getter among second basemen. Ronald Acuna Jr. finished third among outfielders, just ahead of Nick Markakis, who was elected to start his first All-Star Game last year.
This year’s other Braves candidates are catcher Brian McCann, third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Dansby Swanson. There is certainly a sentimental pull toward the 35-year-old McCann, who is experiencing a resurgence during his first season back with his hometown team. The suburban Atlanta native was an All-Star during seven of the eight previous full seasons (2006-13) spent with the Braves.
“He’s been unbelievable back there,” Freeman said of McCann. “Every game he plays, he’s doing something special out there. So, I think if we can get BMac back to the All-Star Game, that will be the most satisfying [selection].”
When Mike Soroka’s bruised right forearm caused him to feel lingering tightness when he played catch Tuesday, the Braves began planning for the possibility of pushing his next start back or possibly placing him on the injured list.
But after Soroka completed his side session on Wednesday without feeling any discomfort, Braves manager Brian Snitker said the 21-year-old right-hander is now tentatively slated to take his normal turn during Friday’s series opener against the Mets at Citi Field.
“He felt really good,” Snitker said. “So, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But right now, I’m looking to have him go Friday.”
Soroka’s right forearm was bruised when he was hit by Austin Voth’s fastball during the third inning of Sunday’s win at Nationals Park. The rookie hurler ranks second in the Majors with a 2.07 ERA.
Snitker also confirmed Bryse Wilson will be promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Cubs. Wilson has produced a 2.49 ERA over his past eight starts for Gwinnett. The 21-year-old right-hander will be filling the rotation spot vacated when Mike Foltynewicz was optioned after Saturday’s ugly start against the Nationals.