Freddie Freeman injures knee, likely to miss two weeks

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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.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.