The news that the Braves and fans have been anxiously awaiting has arrived and as expected, it isn’t good. According to a source from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Freddie Freeman’s left wrist has indeed suffered a fracture and he could miss at least eight weeks as a result.
Source: #Braves’ Freeman has a fractured left wrist. Expectation is that he will miss at least eight weeks.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 18, 2017
Needless to say, this is a crushing blow to the Braves lineup. Freeman had taken his game to the next level and currently had a slash line of .341/.461/.748 with a gaudy wRC+ of 204 and 14 home runs. That was good for 2.6 fWAR, so to say that his production will be missed is a gigantic understatement.
It’s even more frustrating that it’s a wrist injury. Those are notoriously tricky to recover from, so it’ll be tough for Freddie Freeman to return to the great form he was in before this injury. This is just an all-around frustrating moment for both the player and the team.
As far as internal replacements go, Rio Ruiz could be called up and move across the diamond to play first base. Meanwhile, Nick Markakis also played a handful of games at first base last season, so he could move over there if need be. Still, there’s really no replacing what Freddie Freeman has brought to the Braves this year, and the team will be much worse off in his absence.
If there is any good news, it’s that Freddie won’t need surgery, as Ken Rosenthal also reported.
Source adds: #Braves’ Freeman will not undergo surgery.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 18, 2017
That’s really the only bright spot, here. Even though the Braves had been playing somewhat decent baseball as of late, this is going to be a crippling blow to the offense. This team really couldn’t afford to have Freddie Freeman miss a significant amount of time due to injury, and that’s exactly what happened here.
So for now, it’s time to prepare for at least eight weeks without one of the best players in baseball plying his craft for the Braves at what was the height of his career as an individual.
UPDATE — The Braves have put out an official announcement, and you can add two weeks onto that tally. Also, Rio Ruiz has indeed been called up from the G-Braves.