Freddie Freeman won’t return from wrist injury before All-Star break

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has already been sidelined since June 17 with a bone bruise and “aggravated ligaments” in his right wrist, but he confirmed to Mark Bowman of MLB.com today that the injury will keep him out through the All-Star break.

Freeman received a platelet-rich plasma injection on June 24 and still isn’t able to bend his wrist. While the bone bruise is healing, he’s currently receiving treatment focused on his ligaments and tendons. He’s hoping to go on a minor league rehab assignment during the All-Star break before returning on July 17 against the Cubs, but he also acknowledged that it’s a “best-case scenario.”

The Braves have understandably struggled to stay afloat without the big bat in their lineup, losing seven out of their last 12 games.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.