Freddie Freeman reported to spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life, but the Braves’ first baseman is expected to sit out at least two weeks after injuring his right knee in this morning’s workout.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that “Freeman’s right knee popped out of place as he reached to pick a low throw at first base” and “he limped off the field and was still walking with a heavy limp as he made his way toward a photo shoot on Tuesday afternoon.”
Freeman told Bowman that he had a similar injury at Triple-A and ended up missing only a couple weeks, so there’s some optimism that he’ll be healthy in time for Opening Day.
Eric Hinske would seemingly be in line to step in at first base if needed, assuming it isn’t a major injury.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.