Braves hot-hitting first baseman Freddie Freeman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique. The concern is that oblique injuries can often linger well beyond the initial diagnosis.
Freeman has been an anchor at the clean up spot so far this season, hitting .412 with 1 homer and 7 RBIs. He has provided valuable protection behind Justin Upton, who has totaled 5 home runs in the first 5 games this season.
Chris Johnson, who the Braves acquired in the Justin Upton trade, will take over at first base while Freeman heals. Johnson has recorded 2 hits in 7 at bats so far, including a double and a walk.
With Johnson playing first regularly, he won’t be available to platoon with Juan Francisco at third. This will give both Johnson and Francisco regular at bats that may help later in the season. So there may be a positive in there, somewhere.
You can’t minimize in any way, though, Freeman’s value to the Braves. He led the team in RBIs last season and is effective against both lefties and righties.
Lets hope the injury bug doesn’t keep striking this very talented and exciting Braves team.