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Most recent 19 results returned for keyword: Freddie Freeman (Search this on MAP)

https://plus.google.com/103910735111517677007 Downtown Atlanta Breaking News : Popular Atlanta Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman, who remains on the team’s roster despite the ...
Popular Atlanta Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman, who remains on the team’s roster despite the organization’s penchant for trading popular players, recently listed his Roswell home for sale. The All-Star’s six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half bathroom, 5,253-square-foot home is listed at $775,000, according to Realtor.com. The home sits on a 1.44-acre lot. The address is: 325 Lum Crowe Road, Roswell, Ga. 30075. Photos show just a few signs of Freeman and his wife, Chelsea. A blackboard displaying…
Braves’ star Freddie Freeman puts Roswell home on market (SLIDESHOW) - Atlanta Business Chronicle
Popular Atlanta Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman who remains on the team’s roster despite the organization’s penchant for trading popular players recently listed put his Roswell home on the market.
3 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/105246611612250840741 Atlanta Real Time :

Braves’ star Freddie Freeman puts Roswell home on market (SLIDESHOW) - Atlanta Business Chronicle
Popular Atlanta Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman who remains on the team’s roster despite the organization’s penchant for trading popular players recently listed put his Roswell home on the market.
3 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/113244828975493133027 Chris “Dirty” Dyer : Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez joked that he hasn’t been making lineups, but likes what he sees when ...
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez joked that he hasn’t been making lineups, but likes what he sees when envisioning what the top of the batting order could be.
In a media session Saturday during FanFest at Turner Field, Gonzalez envisioned a lineup topped by newly-acquired center fielder Ender Inciarte, shortstop Erick Aybar and first baseman Freddie Freeman in the three hole.
“Fourth can be whoever’s hot or whoever we want to put behind Freeman,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to be a fun team offensively. I think it’s going to be a lot better than last year’s team.”
General Manager John Coppolella (second from left) speaks as (from left) broadcaster Joe Simpson, Braves president John Schuerholz, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing Derek Schiller smile during a roundtable discussion of 2016 Atlanta Braves Fan Fest at Turner Field on Saturday, January 30, 2016. In celebration of the final seasonat Turner Field, the Atlanta Braves hosted a FanFest at the ballpark. The day included autograph sessions, tours, photo stations and more, and kicks off the Final Season at Turner Field. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
The Braves picked up Inciarte in a deal that sent starting pitcher Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In Inciarte, Gonzalez sees a spark plug in the top of the lineup.
“We haven’t had that top-of-the-order bat since (Michael Bourn) and before that maybe (Rafael) Furcal,” Gonzalez said. “A guy that’s going to put the ball in play, create some havoc, steal some bases, play great defense in center field and can really throw.”
Fredi Gonzalez: Braves' offense will be better
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez joked that he hasn’t been making lineups, but likes what he sees when envisioning what the top of the batting order could be.
6 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/113244828975493133027 Chris “Dirty” Dyer : After an injury-plagued 2015 season, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman says he’s pain-free and ready...
After an injury-plagued 2015 season, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman says he’s pain-free and ready to return the love the organization showed him in the offseason.
“Being able to swing with no pain for the first time in seven months, really got my juices flowing,” Freeman said Saturday at FanFest at Turner Field.
Freeman battled a right wrist injury for much of last season, limiting him to 118 games. He sustained the injury in mid-June and never got back to 100 percent.
Freddie Freeman says: “I’d like to finish my career as a Brave.” Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Treatment on the wrist lasted into the winter, as did rumors about him possibly being traded during the team’s active offseason. But he says the wrist is healed, and he’s still a Brave.
Freeman said it was a confidence boost to have the organization quickly shoot down rumors anytime his name was mentioned in trade talks during an offseason of turnover.
“I’d like to finish my career as a Brave,” Freeman said.
Freeman pain-free and happy as a Brave
After an injury-plagued 2015 season, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman says he’s pain-free and ready to return the love the organization showed him in the offseason.
7 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/107160422533227749258 FanRag Sports : Baseball fans down South have all come to know a certain narrative the Atlanta Braves’ brass has been...
Baseball fans down South have all come to know a certain narrative the Atlanta Braves’ brass has been spewing out for the last 18 months. It’s all about contending in 2017, when SunTrust Park opens in Cobb County.....
#atlanta   #braves   #sports   #mlb   #freddiefreeman   #baseball  
With a Healthy Freddie Freeman Braves Won’t Be Pushovers

10 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/107160422533227749258 FanRag Sports : Baseball fans down South have all come to know a certain narrative the Atlanta Braves’ brass has been...
Baseball fans down South have all come to know a certain narrative the Atlanta Braves’ brass has been spewing out for the last 18 months. It’s all about contending in 2017, when SunTrust Park opens in Cobb County.....
#sports   #mlb   #baseball   #braves   #freddiefreeman  
With a Healthy Freddie Freeman Braves Won’t Be Pushovers

10 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/105246611612250840741 Atlanta Real Time :

Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman Asks $775K for Roswell Digs
Braves first-baseman Freddie Freeman has managed to stay firmly rooted on the team's roster despite multiple bench clearings over the last couple...
10 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/103910735111517677007 Downtown Atlanta Breaking News : Braves first-baseman Freddie Freeman has managed to stay firmly rooted on the team's roster despite ...
Braves first-baseman Freddie Freeman has managed to stay firmly rooted on the team's roster despite multiple bench clearings over the last couple of years. Maybe the consistency has made him antsy as,...
Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman Asks $775K for Roswell Digs
Braves first-baseman Freddie Freeman has managed to stay firmly rooted on the team's roster despite multiple bench clearings over the last couple...
10 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/113969847182066650298 Rui Silva : Freddie Freeman (2015 Getty Images) Atlanta Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman has...
Freddie Freeman (2015 Getty Images)









Atlanta Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman has listed his cozy home in Roswell, GA, for $775,000. Either the slugger is trading up to a grander place in Georgia, or he expects to get ...
Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K

11 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/105383959045826127255 Broadview Mortgage Orange, CA : Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has listed his Roswell home for $775,000. Either he's trading up...
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has listed his Roswell home for $775,000. Either he's trading up to a bigger place in Georgia—or he expects a trade. The post Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K appeared first on Real…
Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K - Broadview Mortgage Orange ~ (888) 894-5503
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has listed his Roswell home for $775,000. Either he’s trading up to a bigger place in Georgia—or he expects a trade. The post Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K appeared first on Real Estate News and Advice – realtor.com.
11 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/105113992146957587896 The World 247 : Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K #lifestyle #TheWorld247
Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K

#lifestyle #TheWorld247
Atlanta Braves Slugger Freddie Freeman Selling Georgia Home for $775K | The World 247
Cozy den Freddie Freeman (2015 Getty Images) Entertainment space Previous Next Atlanta Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman has listed his cozy home in Roswell, GA, for $775,000. Either the slugger is trading up to a grander place in Georgia, or he expects to get traded to a new destination. His six-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home is traditional and charming. Downstairs, there's a dining room (complete with wainscoting), living...
11 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/113244828975493133027 Chris “Dirty” Dyer : His is the pleasant, usually smiling face of the current Braves, but for much of the summer and fall...
His is the pleasant, usually smiling face of the current Braves, but for much of the summer and fall of 2015 Freddie Freeman bore a grimace or disgruntled expression.
After playing all 162 games and nearly every inning of a second consecutive All-Star season in 2014, Freeman struggled for much of 2015 with an aching wrist, and his absence or decreased performance coincided with one of the worst half-seasons in franchise history as the Braves plummeted from a 42-42 start to a 67-95 final record.
Two-time All-Star Freddie Freeman has become the face of the current Braves, and for most of his tenure it’s been a smiling, ebullient face. (Hyosub Shin/AJC file photo)
A battery of injections and cutting-edge treatment couldn’t get Freeman through the wrist problems. The big first baseman, who led the majors in innings played in 2014, had two stints on the disabled list in 2015 and missed 44 games in 2015.
After batting .303 with 117 extra-base hits, 187 RBIs and a .390 OBP in 1,158 at-bats in during the 2013-2014 seasons, Freeman hit .276 with 45 extra-base hits, 66 RBIs and a .370 OBP in 416 at-bats in 2015.
He totaled 481 plate appearances and 118 games in 2015, after never having fewer than 620 PAs or 147 games in his previous four full seasons. And yet, Freeman still led the Braves in home runs with 18  — no teammate had more than 10 — and in RBIs, as no other member of the majors’ lowest-scoring team had as many as 60 RBIs.
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Freeman’s .376 average with runners in scoring position was 20 points above the Braves’ next-best, but his average in those RISP situations with two outs slipped from .310 with a .508 OBP in 2014 to .233 with a .421 OBP in 2015 (teams still pitched around him plenty in those situations).
After the rough season was over, Freeman, 26, watched as the Braves continue trading away established player, including longtime teammate and defensive shortstop extraordinaire Andrelton Simmons and Shelby Miller, who’d been a hard-luck ace in his one Braves season after coming over in a November 2014 trade for Freeman’s best friend, Jason Heyward.
But through all the trades of this and the previous offseasons, and other trades including those in July 2015, Freeman never complained publicly about the Braves’ strip-down rebuild job. It was undertaken to rebuild the farm system for long-term success and ostensibly aimed at being a contender when the team moves into a new ballpark in 2017.
No one would have blamed him if Freeman had complained, seeing as this wasn’t what he expected when he signed the longest and largest contract in franchise history in February 2014, an eight-year, $135 million deal that runs through 2021 and includes salaries of $20.5 million-$22 million over the final five years of the contract.
In 2015, Freeman and the Braves endured a brutal second half, with their first baseman slowed by a nagging wrist injury and spending two stints on the disabled list. (AP file photo)
Pitcher Julio Teheran and Freeman are the only Braves left standing from the group that got multi-year contract extensions in 2014 from general manager Frank Wren, who was fired late in the 2014 season. No major league team has come close to as many player-personnel changes as the Braves in the past 15 months.
Now that the dust seems mostly settled, the Braves have traded away most of their large contracts, restocked their system with top prospects including a bevy of power pitchers, and vowed not to trade Freeman – new GM John Coppolella basically put up his right arm as collateral – where is Freeman’s mindset as the Braves prepare for spring training in less than a month? And perhaps most importantly, how’s the wrist?
I talked with Freeman about all this during an interview Wednesday (Jan. 20), a day after he took his first swings of the offseason and reported no discomfort in the wrist. This is the first part of a three-part interview that will run in this space over the next few days.
Q. It sounds like you’re getting excited about finally being able to move past this wrist injury. Was it a difficult situation to deal with as it lingered for so much of the 2015 season?
A. Yeah, it’s been a long road. Since June it’s just been a day-to-day thing. I was getting frustrated a couple of months into the offseason, into December, because I still had pain. But all of a sudden I turned the corner in about mid-December. I was moving between houses, lifting boxes and stuff, and all of a sudden it stopped hurting when I was lifting boxes. That’s when that little quote came out (in a story by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal) about how I felt 100 percent healthy. A couple of words got left out – it was 100 percent healthy on day-to-day activities, not baseball activities.
So I got another injection from Dr. (Gary) Lourie around Dec. 20, because I was having pain in my wrist again in the same spot. So we really found out what it was; it was an impingement on the side of wrist, where two bones are hitting each other. You usually clear that up by cortisone injections, and if a cortisone injection doesn’t work that’s when you get surgery. But obviously the cortisone worked this last time. I waited 11 days until Dec. 31 to swing. I was only supposed to swing a couple of times, but I swung 10 times, dry swings, and I had no pain. So that was a big relief for me, and I didn’t swing at all again until yesterday (Tuesday), when I went to Turner Field and swung in front of the trainers. I swung 30 times and had no pain again, so tomorrow (Thursday) I’ll take more dry swings and if I still have no pain I’ll also hit off the tee.
(ADDENDUM: On Thursday, Freeman took 30 “dry swings” and hit 25 balls off a tee. “Nice to finally swing a bat with no pain after seven months,” he said.)
Was the recent injection in a different area than the previous series of injections you got during the season, is that why it worked better this time?
I had two components to the injury in June. You know how I had that pain on top of my wrist? That’s where I was getting all the PRP (platelet-rich plasma injections) and all that stuff put in, because I was having pain on top of my wrist. That’s why it took so long, and when we got that cleared up I think I was just a little weak on the left side (of the wrist), and that flared up again when I came off the DL, that’s what started hurting again, the impingement area. And I’ve had the impingement actually since 2009. That’s the injury that I had, and every year I usually get a cortisone shot at the end of the year and I’m good. But I had two different injuries, and that’s what took so long for this one to heal.
So now it looks like you’ve finally got it cleared up, with a month to go before spring training. Are you still a little bit leery, at all worried about it coming back, or are you pretty confident it’s taken care of this time?
Yeah, I’m pretty confident. Obviously when you have pain or something for six months, you’re still a little leery of what’s going to happen when you have the every-day grind of spring training and getting into the season. I think once I get going in spring training and getting games started, I think that’s what is going to, like, once I take maybe an awkward swing and I have no pain, I think that’s all it’ll take. I just need to get going and realize it’s good, get in games to have everything get off my mind. That’s obviously not going to happen until spring training, but right now I have no pain. I swung yesterday, I have no soreness today, so I’m pretty excited about it.
Last year, the second half of the season was pretty frustrating. It’s nice to have a clear mind and be ready to go for spring training. I don’t know if I’m going to be like 100 percent ready to go (for spring training), it might be a little bit slower. Usually I’m already taking flips and hitting off the tee right now getting ready for spring training, and I obviously haven’t done that yet. I don’t want to rush it trying to be ready for Feb. 25 (first full-squad workout). There’s no reason to. So I think we’re going to go a little bit slower, and if I am ready by Feb. 25 that’s great, but if I’m not, I don’t think I’ll miss any games or anything. I just might not be very good for the first few games of spring training.
(Parts 2 and 3 of the interview will run in this space Friday and Saturday, including how Freeman feels about the Braves’ chances in 2016 and beyond and his opinion of the team making so many trades.)
Braves’ Freddie Freeman says wrist is finally healthy | Atlanta Braves blog
His is the pleasant, usually smiling face of the current Braves, but for much of the summer and fall of 2015 Freddie Freeman bore a grimace or disgruntled expression. After playing all 162 games and nearly every inning of a second consecutive All-Star season in 2014, Freeman struggled for much of 2015 with an aching wrist, and his absence or decreased performance coincided with one of the worst half-seasons in franchise...
14 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/113244828975493133027 Chris “Dirty” Dyer : They added elite pitching prospects and a solid major league outfielder through a couple of major trades...
They added elite pitching prospects and a solid major league outfielder through a couple of major trades this winter, but the Braves’ most significant development regarding the 2017 season might well have taken place Thursday without only a couple of people watching in an indoor batting cage at Turner Field.
Freddie Freeman missed 44 games and was slowed for more than half of the 2015 season by a wrist injury, after playing every game and more innings than any other major leaguer in 2014. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)
That’s where first baseman Freddie Freeman hit 25 balls off a batting tee without any discomfort in his right wrist, something the Braves’ best hitter hadn’t been able to do since injuring the wrist in mid-June. He was hindered for the rest of the season and had two stints on the disabled list, and Freeman still had discomfort and concern about the wrist a month into the offseason.
“Nice to finally swing a bat with no pain after seven months,” he said following Thursday’s tee session, which had followed pain-free sessions of 25-30 “dry swings” (no baseballs involved) Tuesday and earlier Thursday.
With all the personnel changes the Braves made over the past 14 months, having Freeman healthy for a full season – he played more innings than anyone else in the majors in 2014 and set a franchise record – is particularly important in 2016, when they’ve vowed to avoid another 95-loss debacle like the one they had in 2015, and to establish some momentum before they move into a new ballpark in 2017.
It’s also important for Freeman, who prides himself on durability and steady play and wants to be a guy the Braves know they can rely on. He signed the largest contract in franchise history in February 2014, an eight-year, $135 million deal that runs through 2021 and includes salaries of $20.5 million or more over its final five years.
After trading away Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis following the 2014 season, the Braves matched their sorry team scoring total from that season in 2015, but were the lowest-scoring team in the majors. This despite a resurgent season from 38-year-old catcher A.J. Pierzynksi, who ranked among major league offensive leaders at his position in several categories.
After sharing the offensive load with Justin Upton (pictured), Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis and others in 2014, Freddie Freeman (right) was the centerpiece of the Braves offense in 2015. Before hurting his wrist, Freeman produced impressive stats without much protection in the lineup. (Curtis Compton/AJC)
The Braves expect improvement from several young players and are optimistic about the impact that offseason additions Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar can have on their offense. But everyone knows, to be a significantly improved offensive team they need to keep Freeman in the lineup, healthy and back to his pre-injury productivity.
In the Braves’ first 66 games through June 17, Freeman hit .299 with 12 homers, 41 RBIs and a .367 OBP and whopping .520 slugging percentage. He  was on pace for 49 doubles, 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 105 runs.
But he hurt his wrist and landed on the DL, and Freeman played in only 52 of the Braves’ 96 games the rest of the season, batting .241 with seven doubles, six homers, 19 runs, 25 RBIs and a .395 slugging percentage.
The Braves, after averaging 4.29 runs per game through June 17, averaged 3.02 runs the rest of the season.
I talked with Freeman this week about his wrist, the team’s wholesale changes and rebuilding effort over the past 15 months, and his attitude going forward. The first of three parts of the interview ran here Thursday, with Freeman discussing his wrist and how it finally felt pain-free following another recent injection.
In today’s second part, he discusses upcoming spring training and some things he’s done this winter after the rough 2015 season.
Q. Spring training can be tough coming off such an injury, going from offseason to swinging hundreds of times a day, right? If you don’t ease into it a little?
A. Yeah, I think that’s what we’re going to do. I think we’re going to take it easy. It’s kind of a weird injury in that it only hurt when I’d like, open bottles or turn door knobs, or obviously when I swung. But I could work out and if I kept my wrist straight and didn’t curl it or anything I had no problem. So I’ve been working out every day pretty much, and I still have all my strength, because you’re still active and you’re bench-pressing and everything like that. But I’m going to start doing wrist curls to get all those little muscles in my forearm strong again, and hopefully I can build up enough to where I don’t miss any time in spring training. But if I do it’s only going to be, like, a couple of days. I should be almost 100 percent ready to go by spring training.
Has Dan Uggla given you his wrist-curl program? (Freeman and former Brave Uggla are close friends.)
(Freeman laughter.) I work out with him five days a week, so…. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the Dan Uggla build, but I’m going to try.
He probably can’t sympathize with anyone having wrist problems, with those wrist and forearms that he has.
I know, he’s got the biggest ones in the game. He’s doing well also. He hasn’t signed (with any team) yet. With these free-agent guys still out there, they’re still trying to figure out that market. I think it’ll come down to the last few days before spring training until he signs with a team. It’ll be a minor league deal like he got last year, but he’s just looking for an opportunity to prove to himself that he can do it again.
Have you been doing a lot of swimming? Have you always done that? I saw the picture that your wife posted on Twitter.
Yeah, I’ve always been able to do that when I lived in California. But obviously with the winters here in Atlanta it’s kind of tough to do that. But we went on vacation (to Turks and Caicos (SIC?)) to get out of the cold and I swam laps every single day down there, just to get everything fired up, just to do the whole body because when you’re on vacation you don’t really work out that much. I wanted to keep it going because I feel strong, I feel healthy, and I didn’t want to lose anything when I went on vacation for a week.
Had you really done 200 laps to that point in the workout, as she said in the Tweet with the photo?
Yeah, it only took, like, 14 strokes to get from one side to the other (in the pool). I got in the pool at, like, 5:45 (p.m.) and I got out at 7:15. It was kind of a nice view, so I didn’t want to get out.
Damn, were you a swimmer as a kid?
Not really. I just was in the pool a lot. My grandparents had a pool. I just kind of hung out and picked it up from watching people.
After consecutive All-Star seasons in 2013 and 2014, Freeman was on pace for personal-bests in several statistical categories before hurting his wrist in mid-June. (Curtis Compton photo/AJC)
By the way, who said something about feeling no pain the wrist while moving? Hopefully it was your own move.
Yeah, we moved from Roswell to inside the Perimeter. I was just picking up boxes and everything. It was kind of tough because the first day I was, like, I don’t know if I can do all this, picking up all the boxes and everything. But it was just a matter of a day where it just changed and I had no pain. It was crazy.
The 2015 season had to be tough for you, going from starting all 162 games the year before and playing almost every inning of the season, to not being able to stay on the field this past season. And people are saying, “He can’t stay on the field” even though you played the most innings in the majors the year before.
Yeah, that was the toughest part. Obviously it’s “what have you done for me now” in this game. It’s just tough personally, because my goal every year is to play every game. And it just came to the point where I just couldn’t physically do it. And even if I could stay on the field I wasn’t helping the team when I was out there. Even in the second half I wasn’t the same player. It’s super frustrating, but I think I came to the realization now, I know what playing through pain is and what injury pain is, and that’s what I found out last year in the second half. I just couldn’t play through that. I was hurting myself more and hurting the team by being out there, being stubborn and trying to play and help the team. But it was tough, because until I got hurt in June I was on pace to have one of my best years. And that was the most frustrating thing for me, that all of a sudden I take a funky swing and it derails my whole season. So hopefully it doesn’t happen again this year. Hopefully I’ve got it healthy and I can strengthen up my wrist muscles and stop it from happening for the next few years.
Freddie Freeman is ready to bounce back after frustrating season | Atlanta Braves blog
They added elite pitching prospects and a solid major league outfielder through a couple of major trades this winter, but the Braves’ most significant development regarding the 2017 season might well have taken place Thursday without only a couple of people watching in an indoor batting cage at Turner Field. Freddie Freeman missed 44 games and was slowed for more than half of the 2015 season by...
14 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/113244828975493133027 Chris “Dirty” Dyer : Freddie Freeman is the last position player left from the Braves’ 2013 division-title team, has six ...
Freddie Freeman is the last position player left from the Braves’ 2013 division-title team, has six years left on his eight-year, $135 million contract, and is coming off a 95-loss season that started well for him and the team before spiraling into a nightmarish second half for the Braves and frustrations and concerns for Freeman about his injured wrist.
Freddie Freeman watches a ball sail out of the park during his career-best 2013 season when he was 5th in NL MVP balloting. After consecutive All-Star seasons, he was slowed by a nagging wrist injury and missed 44 games in 2015. (AP photo)
Not to mention more exits for some of his good friends and longtime teammates via the Braves trade machine.
So what is the status of Freeman’s mind and body as he prepares for 2016 spring training? Braves general manager John Coppolella said repeatedly this winter that Freeman wouldn’t be traded, and to the surprise of a legion of we’ve-heard-that-before skeptics, Freeman indeed wasn’t shipped away. And now his wrist finally feels healthy.
I talked with Freeman last week about the status of his wrist – he hit balls off a tee Thursday, his first pain-free swings in seven months – and about the upcoming season and his status as the last man standing among position players from the 2013 division-title team.
The first part of a three-part interview ran here on AJC.com Thursday, with Freeman discussing the recent improvement of his wrist. The second part of the interview ran here Friday, in which Freeman talked about how difficult it was to miss so much time and have his durability questioned.
He hit .276 with a .370 OBP, 18 home runs and 3.4 wins above replacement (WAR), the kind of season that most run-of-the-mill major leaguers would be thrilled to have once in their careers.
But Freeman, of course, is no average major leaguer. He signed the biggest contract in Braves history in February 2014, which brought with it soaring and often unfair expectations, the kind of stuff that goes to face-of-the-franchise players, as Freeman was widely regarded once he got that deal the same week that Jason Heyward got a two-year contract (Heyward made it halfway through that deal before being traded a year from free agency).
His consecutive All-Star seasons included a fifth-place National League MVP finish and .319/.396/.501 slash line in ’13, and then 65 extra-base hits in a franchise-record 1,449 innings played (all 162 games) in ’14.
But Freeman had two stints on the disabled list in 2015 and missed 44 games. He played all 66 games through June 17, hitting .299 with 12 homers, 41 RBIs, a .367 OBP and .520 slugging percentage. He  was on pace for 49 doubles, 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 105 runs. Then he got hurt and played in only 52 of 96 games the rest of the way.
Here in the third and final part of the interview, Freeman discusses the status of the team and his belief that the Braves can surprise a lot of people this season and aren’t far from becoming a consistent contender.
Q. It was a 95-loss season, the worst here in more than a quarter-century, and yet you guys were 42-42 before the injuries – you and Jason Grilli prior to the All-Star break – and then the trades in late July. The Braves played .500 ball until just past the halfway point of the season.
A. Yeah, and I think that’s going to be the same thing — people obviously aren’t going to pick us to win this season with the Mets and the Nationals, and the Marlins with Jose Fernandez back being healthy all year and Stanton healthy. People are going to overlook us again, but that’s what they did last year and we were three games out going into July, until that five-game losing streak right before the All-Star break kind of knocked us off pace. But I think that’s what we’re going to be this year. I think with Inciarte and Aybar at the top of the lineup, they can get on base and create havoc. So maybe it might be able to move Nick down to more a drive and hit-and-run guy like he was in Baltimore, even though he was still hitting 1-2 there. But I think him being completely healthy, and Olivera having a whole year, hopefully he can settle in for us. Jace Peterson had his problems at the end of the year with his wrist, so hopefully he’s 100 percent healthy. We’ve got some guys. It’s like every year — we need these things to line up, and obviously they didn’t line up for us last year.
Plenty of “ifs” remain, but do you think that if Nick Markakis is stronger — if he regains some strength from lifting that he couldn’t do last winter after neck surgery — and if newcomers Erick Aybar and Ender Inciarte produce at the top in front of you – it could be a pretty decent lineup?
Yeah, I think the thing last year, it wasn’t very consistent. We were missing parts every day, so all of a sudden Nick’s hitting leadoff, then he’s he’s hitting third and I’m hitting fourth, then all of a sudden I’m hitting third and he’s hitting fourth, then Nick’s back up to first. No one could really get comfortable because we just had so many mix-and-match pieces. So hopefully this year it’s more of a consistent lineup that we can put out there every single day and then more people will get comfortable and settle in. Because we’re going to have a young team again, with a sprinkle of veterans like Pierzynski, Swisher, Bourn, Kelly Johnson. Everybody else pretty much is young. We’re going to be out there hopefully able to play some exciting baseb all like we were doing up until 83, 84 games into the season last year. Hopefully we can continue that. You never know what can happen. If we can put pressure on the Nationals and the Mets and the Marlins, they could get a little scared and we might hop over them. Cools things could happen.
It’s got to be good for you feeling like you can start out strong and healthy again, and also knowing what you’re going to get as far as leadership from the likes of (A.J.) Pierzynski and Markakis, after playing with them last season, and the additions of a couple of guys like Aybar and Inciarte, who actually had more Defensive Runs Saved than Andrelton Simmons last year, as hard as that is to believe for those of us who watched Andrelton.
Freeman’s home run clinched a wild-card berth for Braves in 2012. No one else in the picture remains with the team. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)
Yeah, that’s very hard to believe. I saw that (statistic). But when we played the Diamondbacks he always seemed to take away a couple of hits, so it’s definitely nice to have him on our side. It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing those guys we got in the trades, like the Swansons, the Blairs, all those guys that we got from the Angels too. It’s going to be the same thing this year (as last spring), we’re going to have to have name tags on our shirts. But it’s a lot more exciting crew that we’re going to have in spring training, to get to know these guys.
The Braves have so many good young arms now, a lot of people feel like if even half of them work out as projected, the team should be fine for a lot of years.
I know. Hopefully it happens soon rather than later. Hopefully these guys take some big steps this year and we can be like the Royals and Astros, with a lot of homegrown guys and get to the point of being able to make the playoffs every year. It’s going to be exciting.
So you and Julio (Teheran) are pretty much the last men standing in terms of the Braves from just a couple of years ago, the only ones left among those who got the multi-year extensions. Are you OK with all the trades and the rebuilding situation, now that the dust has settled from another busy offseason of Braves dealing?
I’m OK with the moves. I’m obviously going to miss Andrelton and Shelby a lot. Definitely going to be different not seeing Simba (Simmons) roaming short this coming year. But I hope he continues becoming a superstar with the Angels. The Diamondbacks got top-of-the-rotation stuff with Shelby (Miller). Not looking forward to having to face him. But me personally, this offseason’s moves made everything come full circle. We got a lot of top prospects back in the trades and I’m looking forward to seeing them in spring training. We have some young guys that could be making an impact with us this year, and in my opinion it’s an exciting time to be a Braves fan because I think we are going to be good soon – and for a lot of years to come.
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Freddie Freeman is the last position player left from the Braves’ 2013 division-title team, has six years left on his eight-year, $135 million contract, and is coming off a 95-loss season that started well for him and the team before spiraling into a nightmarish second half for the Braves and frustrations and concerns for Freeman about his injured wrist. Freddie Freeman watches a ball sail out of...
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