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Braves release Lucas Duda

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The Atlanta Braves have released first baseman Lucas Duda.

Duda just signed a minor league deal with the Braves earlier this month after being released by the Royals. Which makes the second year in a row he went from the Royals to the Braves, having been traded to Atlanta by Kansas City during the 2018 season. Last year that led to 22 plate appearances with the big club but this year the Braves never even bothered to call him up after he went 8-for-57 with one homer over 16 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He hit .171/.252/.324 with four homers in 119 plate appearances for Kansas City.

The smart money would be this being the end of the line for Duda who, at 33, is a couple of years removed from being a productive major leaguer in anything but the shortest of stretches.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.