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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.