The Atlanta Braves have placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the disabled list with an oblique injury, and recalled infielder Blake DeWitt from triple-A Gwinnett. Freeman has been running sluggishly the past few games, but is apparently not convinced he needed to be placed on the disabled list, as these tweets from the beat writers attest:
#Braves Freeman not happy club made decision to put him on DL before talking with him. Still steaming in clubhouse.— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) April 7, 2013
Still furious about the decision to put him on the DL, Freeman is in the outfield shagging balls during batting practice.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 7, 2013
#Braves Freeman wants to play. Notes he was on deck when J Upton hit walk off. F Gonzalez says Freeman was laboring in final AB.— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) April 7, 2013
Wren said after Freeman was examined last night the decision was made not to take the chance of him missing more than 2 weeks. #Braves— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 7, 2013
I noticed that Freeman was having trouble getting down the line on Friday night, and thought maybe a defensive play he made earlier in the game might have aggravated or caused a slight injury. On that play he leaped awkwardly into foul territory to catch a looping line drive for an out.
Whatever the reasoning, the Braves clearly felt Freeman needed rest to fully recover, and thus the 15-day DL. Click here for video of him holding his side on his eighth inning single last nigh. It's interesting to see a player disagreeing so publicly, but in a way it's good that a guy wants to play and wants to play through his injuries. I wonder if this is a new tactic the Braves are taking this year -- being extra careful with slight injuries. Of course, oblique injuries can linger for a long time if not immediately addressed, and the Braves may not want the injury to worsen.
Blake DeWitt had a pedestrian spring, but he does have five years of Major League experience with the Dodgers, and most recently with the Cubs the last two and half years. He has hit safely in the two games he played in Gwinnett this season.
Ernesto Mejia has to be wondering what he's got to do to get called up by the Braves. Mejia hit two home runs yesterday and matched the production of Evan Gattis this past off-season in Venezuela. I would have liked to have seen the team recall the "Caramel Bear" (I came up with that nickname for him yesterday after seeing him launch one of his two home runs).
I wonder if the lingering injury to Andrelton Simmons prompted the team to call up an extra infielder. Simmons is out of the lineup today for the second straight day after injuring his finger on his glove hand while sliding head-first on Friday. Freeman must be wondering why they both aren't on the disabled list... but not all injuries are created equal.
Freeman seems to have begrudgingly accepted his fate:
Thank you to all the @braves fans for there love and well wishes. Obviously I am upset but I will use these 15 days to get fully healthy— Freddie Freeman (@FreddieFreeman5) April 7, 2013
As DeWitt heads to the big club, the promotions will ripple through the system. Infielder Alden Carrithers moves from double-A Mississippi to replace DeWitt in Gwinnett. The Braves sign minor league free agent right-handed pitcher Pat Egan and assigned him to double-A. He was released this spring after six seasons in the Orioles minor league system. Link to his stats.