WASHINGTON -- The wrist injury that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman seemed certain a few days ago would not land him on the disabled list, has done precisely that.
Freeman was placed on the 15-day DL Tuesday -- retroactive to June 18 -- with a right-wrist injury that’s not considered serious, but is nagging enough to warrant a roster move so the Braves weren’t short-handed facing the National League East-leading Nationals in a series starting Tuesday night.
The third-place Braves were two games behind Washington entering the three-game series.
First baseman/corner outfielder Joey Terdsoslavich was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Freeman’s roster spot, and Kelly Johnson and Chris Johnson are likely to fill in at first base until Freeman returns.
An MRI exam Monday revealed no broken bones, but the Braves decided to have Freeman rest and let the soreness and inflammation calm down for a couple of weeks rather than risk having it develop into something that could linger all season. An announcement of the specific nature of the injury was expected at some point Tuesday afternoon.
The DL assignment is retroactive to Thursday, the day after Freeman last played. He would be eligible to return July 3, the opener of a weekend series against the Phillies at Turner Field.
Freeman hit .324 (24-for-74) with seven homers and 18 RBIs in his past 19 games, posting a .662 slugging percentage in that span. He hit .313 in his past 42 games with 20 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs and a .383 OBP and .534 slugging percentage.
He injured the wrist on a swing late in a June 13, 11-inning win against the Mets in New York. Freeman said he could barely swing a bat without severe pain the next day, but he didn’t confide to team officials how much he was hurting and continued to play.
He got a cortisone injection in the wrist after leaving Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox, and Freeman was told it could take between 48 and 72 hours for the medicine to take effect. He hoped to be back in the lineup Friday or Saturday, but his recovery didn’t go as quickly as he’d hoped, then stalled altogether during the weekend.Freeman saw the Braves’ hand specialist Sunday, had an MRI Monday, and wasn’t on the team’s charter flight Monday evening to Washington.
When asked back on Friday whether the DL had been discussed, Freeman said, “No, that’s not an option. I won’t allow that.” But that was before his recovery stalled.
The Nationals will certainly not be disappointed to miss him this week: Freeman has a .340 career average against Washington, including a sizzling .455 (45-for-99) with 16 extra-base hits (four homers) and a .697 slugging percentage in 25 games against them since the beginning of the 2014 season.He is 13-for-25 (.520) with five doubles in six games against them this season, though the Nationals won five of those games.Freeman is 12-for-28 (.429) with three homers against expected Tuesday starter Stephen Strasburg, with nine RBIs, six walks and a .500 OBP and .821 slugging percentage against the right-hander.