Freddie Freeman will miss several months due suffering a fractured wrist during Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Atlanta Braves announced. The injury occurred when Blue Jay pitcher Aaron Loup threw a pitch that hit Freeman in the wrist.
The images show that he has a broken bone that is not shifted. But we don’t know which bone it is,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon, said. “But the fact that it was not shifted means it is probably just a crack. I’d estimate he will be out six to eight weeks, but that can change whether or not he injured one of the small bones in his wrist.”
The pitch has been viewed by some as retaliation for the back and forth trash talk between the Blue Jays and Braves during the series. Peter Gammons of MLB.com reported that one Braves veteran told him that “there is going to be a fight today,” in response to Loup’s pitch breaking Freeman’s hand.
Freeman was amid a monstrous start to the season, batting .341 with 14 home runs and 25 RBI in his first 135 at-bats this season. While his team was never good enough to allow him to warrant serious consideration, Freeman has been in the early MVP conversation due to his individual play. The injury should now have him out until late July-early August, but Freeman is the type of player that fantasy owners need to be hanging on to.
The issue is that the Braves do not really have a true first baseman to fill-in for Freeman. Once Freeman left the game on Wednesday, Jace Peterson moved from third base to first base. While no one can truly replace Freeman’s offensive production, Peterson is not going to come close. He is batting just .208 with no home runs and seven RBI in 77 at-bats this season as a utility infielder.
Because the team is not really fighting for a playoff spot this season, they won’t be inclined to empty their farm system to find a replacement. However, they could search the free agent and explore cheaper trade options around the league. At least until Freeman returns.