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Freddie Freeman could play third base when he returns from disabled list

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is currently recovering from a fractured left wrist suffered in a mid-May game against the Blue Jays. His timetable for recovery was at least eight weeks, putting him at an All-Star break return if everything goes well.

When Freeman does return, the Braves may move him to third base in order to keep the hot-hitting Matt Adams‘ bat in the lineup, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. The Braves acquired Adams just a couple days after Freeman hit the disabled list and he’s been a godsend for his new team. In 122 plate appearances, Adams has hit .306/.361/.658 with 10 home runs and 27 RBI. The Braves couldn’t have realistically asked for a better replacement, as Freeman was hitting .341/.461/.748 with 14 home runs and 25 RBI in 165 PA prior to his injury.

Freeman has only played first base in the majors and only played five games at third base back in 2007 as a 17-year-old with the Braves’ rookie ball team in the Gulf Coast League. He did play third base as a high school player, per Bowman. Adams is also a career first baseman, but did play a few games in the outfield for the Cardinals this season before being traded. He only played first base in the minors.

As Bowman notes, the Braves could also try trading Adams if Freeman returns before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.