Hector Olivera was the big get for the Braves in the three-team, 13-player deal before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. And if all goes according to plan, it won’t be much longer before we see him in the majors.
Olivera landed a six-year, $62.5 million contract with the Dodgers earlier this year. The 30-year-old has been limited to just 25 games in the minors this season due to a hamstring injury, but he’s set to play his first game with Triple-A Gwinnett tonight. He’s starting at third base, which is where he’ll play when he joins the Braves.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman spent some time with Olivera while he was rehabbing his wrist injury in Florida and he was impressed with what he saw.
Olivera had a .323/.407/.505 batting line over 10 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. He has already played in two rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Braves. He joined his major league teammates at Turner Field on Saturday to work out on the field during batting practice prior to their evening match-up with the Diamondbacks.
Freeman has been out since August 3 with a strained right oblique. He also missed six weeks between mid-June and late July with a right wrist contusion. He’s hitting .284/.348/.500 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI in 322 plate appearances this season.
If all goes well during Freeman’s rehab stint, the Braves are hoping to activate him from the disabled list on Wednesday.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who missed five weeks with a wrist injury earlier this season before returning late last month, is headed back to the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle.
In between the DL stints Freeman played just 10 games, hitting .184, and based on the typical recovery timetable for oblique injuries he’s unlikely to be back in Atlanta’s lineup until September.
During his first absence the Braves turned primarily to Chris Johnson as the fill-in at first base, with Joey Terdoslavich also seeing some action there.
Overall this season Freeman has done his usual thing when healthy enough to play, hitting .284 with 14 homers and an .848 OPS in 76 games to basically match his .831 career OPS coming into the year.
UPDATE: Freeman left tonight’s game with a right oblique injury. He’s being called day-to-day, but these type of injuries are notoriously tricky.
8:36 p.m. ET: Troubling development here for the Braves, as Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network notes that Freddie Freeman left tonight’s game against the Giants in the fifth inning with an apparent injury.
No word on the reason for his exit, but Freeman recently missed five weeks with a right wrist contusion and just returned on July 25. It’s fair to wonder if he aggravated the injury.
Including tonight, Freeman is batting just .184 (7-for-38) with two home runs and a double since coming off the disabled list.
Apparently only one minor league rehab game was all Freddie Freeman needed to prove his health, as the Braves announced this afternoon that the first baseman was activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Freeman has been sidelined since June 17 with a bone bruise and “aggravated ligaments” in his right wrist. He began a minor league rehab assignment yesterday with Triple-A Gwinnett and went 2-for-4 with a home run. The original plan called for him to be activated next Thursday, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the timeline likely changed after the Braves traded Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets on Friday.
Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network reports that Freeman is not slated to arrive in St. Louis until a little bit before tonight’s game against the Cardinals, so the expectation is that he’ll be available off the bench tonight before returning to the starting lineup tomorrow.
Freeman, 25, is batting .299/.367/.520 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI over 66 games this season. The Braves have gone 13-17 during his absence.