Despite getting off to a horrible start last season, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman eventually figured things out, finishing the 2016 campaign with a .302 average in addition to 34 home runs and 91 RBIs for his rebuilding team.
In the second half of last season, he hit .323 with 17 homers and 57 RBIs over 70 games played, proving he was one of the best hitters in the National League in the process.
Therefore, heading into this year, the 27-year-old had some lofty expectations, as he seemingly is in the prime of his career as the face of the Braves.
Over his first 37 games, he surpassed those expectations, hitting .341 with 14 homers and 25 RBIs while posting an incredible .461 on-base percentage.
Not only has he been the best hitter on the Braves by a wide margin, but he’s also perhaps been the hottest hitter in the entire MLB to start the season. He even placed himself among names like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper due to his approach at the plate.
Unfortunately, his stellar start to the year will now be halted due to an injury that he suffered on Wednesday night in an 8-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
After being hit with an inside pitch by Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup, Freeman immediately held his wrist in pain and Braves fans collectively held their breath as their superstar's future came into question in an instant.
On Thursday, the team announced some bad news. The wrist was fractured and Freeman has been placed on the disabled list. He will reportedly be in a cast for four weeks and the club expects him to be out for about 10 weeks in total.
Heading into Thursday night, the Braves are still hanging around the .500 mark at 16-21, which surprisingly puts them in second place in the National League East division. However, losing Freeman will be a major blow to the young roster, especially since his presence in the middle of the lineup was a threat to opposing pitchers.
To compensate for the loss, Atlanta signed veteran free agent first baseman James Loney. Last season, he hit .265 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs over 100 games for the New York Mets. However, he hit just .229 with no home runs in 62 plate appearances for the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers earlier this season before the organization recently released him.
Therefore, Freeman will be missed dearly for much of the next two-and-a-half months or so.
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