Free Freddie Freeman!

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The Braves’ apparent move to get Derrek Lee means that, no, they have no intention of calling up first base prospect Freddie Freeman.  Which is regrettable, because all he’s doing is hitting .308/.369/.510 down in AAA and, if I had to guess, would perform better than either Troy Glaus or Derrek Lee down the stretch.

But sadly, that’s just not how Bobby Cox and the Braves roll. Sure, he’ll start the season with a rookie if he’s an undeniable force like Jason Heyward, but (a) in a pennant race; and (b) when there are at least other plausible options available like Lee, Bobby Cox just isn’t wired to hand over the starting job to a rookie like Freeman.

You take what you get with Bobby Cox. There are better tactical managers than him, but you give it up in exchange for the calm clubhouse he creates. I’m not sure what we as Braves fans get in exchange for his seeming mistrust of kids like Freeman, but this late in the game there’s no amount of whining on our part that’s going to change his mind.

Kyle Schwarber: Before and After

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It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear  a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.

Which brings us to Kyle Schwarber. All offseason long we’ve been getting reports about Schwarber working out, losing weight and, of course, getting into The Best Shape of His Life. And some of those pics have definitely shown a young man who has cut fat and gotten lean. Good for him!

Let’s see how that translates to Schwarber in uniform. Here is is at spring training last year:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

 

Here he is toward the end of last season:

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 09: at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And here he is now:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Nice goin’, kid.