Freeman cracks his 1st Dodgers spring HR

March 26th, 2022

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The last week has been strange for . He’s going through his first Spring Training in Arizona after spending over a dozen in Florida as a member of the Braves.

By his own admission, Freeman is still trying to wrap his head around the fact that he’s no longer playing with the Braves. The reality that he now sports a blue Dodgers uniform as opposed to a red Braves jersey is still new to him.

One of the few times things feel normal for Freeman these days is when he steps into the batter’s box. On Friday, Freeman did what he does best, hitting his first homer as a member of the Dodgers, albeit it during a Spring Training game that ended in a 5-5 tie with San Diego at Camelback Ranch.

In typical Freeman fashion, the five-time All-Star hit an opposite-field homer off Padres right-hander Nick Martínez in the first inning. It was Freeman’s first extra-base hit with the Dodgers.

“He’s fitting in really well,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “He’s very low maintenance -- not that I expected him to be high maintenance. What he’s told our trainers is, ‘Don’t expect to see me. I still love you. But don’t expect to see me in the trainer’s room.’ He just wants to play and post.”

For the first time this spring, the Dodgers rolled out a starting lineup that resembled one we could see frequently throughout the season, including in two weeks when Los Angeles opens its season in Colorado against the Rockies.

As Roberts read the lineup out loud, there was a noticeable smile on his face. A big reason for that is because Freeman was sitting in the middle of his lineup. Roberts said that while nothing is permanent, he’s leaning toward having Freeman in the No. 2 hole behind Mookie Betts and in front of Trea Turner. 

“I think that with Freddie in between those guys, I think it’s important,” Roberts said. “So to have the right-left-right-left potentially with Max Muncy right there, it just poses a lot of problems for opposing teams.”