Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is not in Atlanta’s starting lineup on Tuesday against the Cardinals and hasn’t played in a game since last Friday. But he should be back in action Wednesday.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Freeman’s prescription goggles — which he ordered Monday after giving up on wearing contacts — are scheduled to arrive at the Turner Field clubhouse around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. And if he feels good while wearing them in pregame batting practice, he’ll be allowed to return for Wednesday’s series finale against the defending World Series champs.
Freeman can’t wear contacts because he has chronically dry eyes and they get too uncomfortable over the course of a nine-inning game. And normal glasses don’t offer him enough peripheral vision.
The 22-year-old first baseman is hitting .247/.303/.443 with seven home runs in 44 games this year.
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.