Freeman aiming Tuesday return to lineup; Chipper to DH

NEW YORK — Freddie Freeman’s left index finger isn’t completely healed and probably won’t be the rest of the season, but he finally has enough strength and flexibility it to return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday.

The Braves first baseman had two cortisone shots near the knuckle to help reduce the stiffness and swelling, and said he was able to bend the finger and grip a bat Monday for the first time since the June 6 injury.

He missed his fourth consecutive start in Monday’s series opener against the Yankees, but was encouraged after testing the finger with some early swings and then during batting practice.

“It looks good,” he said. “I swung off the tee today and everything. There’s still a little pain, but it’s playable pain. They told me I’m going to have to play through it the rest of this year. But it’s to the point where I can play…. Hopefully it’ll be good to go tomorrow. This is the best it’s felt [since the injury]. I can even make a fist now; I couldn’t do that two days ago.”

Freeman was injured June 6 when hit by a throw from Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes as Freeman slid into second base and Reyes tried to complete a double play. X-rays taken each of the next two days were negative and Freeman missed only one entire before returning June 8 in the late innings of a 10-inning game.

He tried to play through the discomfort and started the next five games, going 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in the last two of those before determining the finger wasn’t getting any better.

Because of issues with his dry eyes and the finger injury, Freeman has started only 15 of the Braves’ past 26 games. Backup first baseman Eric Hinske was mired in a 4-for-54 slump with no extra-base hits and 20 strikeouts before Monday, when the Braves gave left fielder-third baseman Martin Prado his third start  at first base, all in the past four games.

Wasting strong starts

Braves starting pitchers had a 2.50 ERA in June before Monday, second in the majors to the Yankees’ 1.97. But while the Yankees were 13-2 for the month, the Braves were just 7-7.

Atlanta’s starters were 0-4 during the team’s 1-5 stretch before Monday, during which Atlanta’s starters had a .189 opponents’ average that ranked sixth in the majors during that period.

McCann DH, Chipper next

Catcher Brian McCann served as designated hitter Monday against the Yankees, and manager Fredi Gonzalez said Chipper Jones would probably DH Tuesday in the second game of the series. He said he’d wait to decide on his DH the rest of the six-game trip against New York and Boston.

Because the Braves’ lineup is so left-leaning, Gonzalez said he wanted to have backup catcher David Ross in the lineup against lefty CC Sabathia.

If Ross had to leave the game for injury or anything else, Gonzalez said McCann would move to catcher and the Braves would “play by National League rules” the rest of the way, meaning without the DH. Once a DH enters a game defensively, the team loses the DH slot and has to bat pinch-hitters or the pitcher.

77 comments Add your comment

B_F 54

June 18th, 2012
7:47 pm

GOOD NEWS we need Freddie

xxxldawg

June 18th, 2012
7:48 pm

love this lineup…just got to get them all healthy. Still early in the season.

bruce

June 18th, 2012
7:53 pm

much better to DH than DL which is how I initially mis-read the headline

BravesfaninWis

June 18th, 2012
9:27 pm

Can we trade Chipper for Jeter? At least Jeter plays all the time and doesn’t get paid millions a year to ride the pine and be on the DL. Sad that the Yankees didn’t have a hit until the 5th inning, now in the 7th they have as many hits as the Braves and winning by 3 runs. That is what a good team is supposed to do to a weak opponent. That is why the Braves can’t be mentioned in the same sentence as the Yankees. The Yankees may not have won 14 straight division titles, but they didn’t need to in order to win championships, they were good enough to win them anyways, something the Braves have no clue about. Very close to giving up on this team, its obvious they have given up as well.

keeping it real

June 18th, 2012
9:28 pm

Me too Bruce. Think we just saw what we thought it was saying.

keeping it real

June 18th, 2012
9:31 pm

Very disappointed in Minor. Most of the Braves pitchers seem to be able to get though the lineup once and then somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd time through they catch up with them. Just not going to win that way. I hope we haven’t overestimated how good our young pitching is, but it isn’t something you can just judge by a year or 2.

Henry D.

June 18th, 2012
9:31 pm

I’m glad the Braves are enjoying their summer off. It doesn’t matter whether or not they are on the DL because they don’t do anything when they are playing! Sorry but Freddi has to go if only to wake these guys up. He obviously can’t do it.

BravesfaninWis

June 18th, 2012
9:37 pm

This team is pathetic in every sense of the word. A complete joke of a team, and not worth a penny of the money I have spent on their worthless, useless waste of space selves. Sick and tired of this same stale ass routine they pull year after year. They f’n suck.

Bronke

June 18th, 2012
9:38 pm

Is it too early to call it it a season ? This is unbearable. I used to dread the playoffs knowing that the Braves would lose. Now I am dreading this awful team just taking the field. Do any of you remember when Chipper was good like Jeter? Sigh!

bob didier

June 18th, 2012
9:39 pm

Another night where Fredi doesn’t have a clue. Could have bunted or hit and run. Didn’t. Could have bunted Ross once with runners at 1st and 2nd, no outs. Didn’t and it cost him a run when Bourn delivered a single.

When you can’t hit, you need to hit and run and sacrifice. We don’t do it or Fredi won’t. Diaz also hit into a costly DP.

Bill

June 18th, 2012
9:43 pm

The Braves are Funny..If Frank Wren looked at this group of pitchers and players and thought they were going to be good then he’s sick in the head. He should be fired for this joke of a team.

Dawgdad (The Original)

June 18th, 2012
9:45 pm

DH is a misnomer. We don’t have many hitters right now. How about DB, designated batter, or more specifically DO, designated out.

bostonbravo

June 18th, 2012
9:47 pm

If Broadway does a remake of “Little Abner”…Freeman gets the lead!!

kerryb

June 18th, 2012
9:47 pm

I’ve come to the realization that these young pitchers are going to be good someday. They are just not that good right now. They need some more experience and seasoning. When they have a lead and face a little adversity instead of toughing it out they make bad pitches and cave. You know the Yankees knew when they got two men on with no outs they were going to score on Minor. That’s what good teams do. They get a young pitcher on the ropes and make him cave.

Larry

June 18th, 2012
9:47 pm

I told you…

I’ve been telling you…

I’ll continue telling you until like more and more my indifference grows…

This is a team in dire need of a philosophical overhaul (the streaky, free swinging hacks with zero situational or circumstantial hitting ability born of Cox and bred unto Gonzalez) and an authentic major league caliber manager and leader of men.

What say you, David O’Brien?

Bill

June 18th, 2012
9:49 pm

This is embarrassing….someone need to be held to blame for this mess…Wren, Fredi & McDowell all need to go.

BravesfaninWis

June 18th, 2012
9:49 pm

Good job Sabathia, although I wouldn’t rejoice in beating a useless team like the Braves, it was still a good job. Then again, a college team could dismantle the Braves.

Bill

June 18th, 2012
9:50 pm

He’s not gone say anything…

Bill

June 18th, 2012
9:52 pm

Larry someone needs to write the Obituaries…

J-Hey hit on Hand..now he’ll be out a month.

Ken Stallings

June 18th, 2012
9:53 pm

The reality is the Yankees are a vastly better team than the Braves. Freeman in the lineup isn’t going to change that fact and I wonder what leaving him out of the lineup a few more days might do for his long term health?

Sabbathia surrendered two earned run early against Atlanta and he and the Yanks took it as a personal offense and proceeded to score six unanswered to take the lead and win the game!

The Braves are now 1-8 over their last nine games played! Perhaps they are just playing a long string of better teams. This team might get a wild card this season, but we should not confuse that with having the talent to be a contender.

Ken Stallings

June 18th, 2012
9:55 pm

Jason Heyward just took a pitch square off his wrist and Fredi Gonzalez never argued the call of a foul ball with the plate umpire! It even shocked the ESPN announcer!

If Gonzalez won’t fight for this team, it speaks volumes about why this team has so little fight in them at this time.

kerryb

June 18th, 2012
9:55 pm

The Braves can beat the average teams of the NL but they can’t beat a team like this with this much experience.

The Truth

June 18th, 2012
9:59 pm

0-for-10 on Mondays.. Not a coincidence, folks. This team is lost, has no fight whatsoever and lays down whenever it plays an opponent with equal or better talent.

bob didier

June 18th, 2012
10:01 pm

If this team continues to play losing ball through July 25, it it time to become sellers and trade Chipper, McCann, Uggla, Hudson, and Bourn and rid the team of about 56 mil for next year.
Jeter seems to love Chipper, so let the Yanks give us a prospect or two and let Chipper play for a winner. He would probably approve of the trade to the Yanks. Counting Lowe’s 10 mil, JJ’s 5, and Hinske, Diaz, 3 or 4 more between them, that would give Wren almost 75 mil to play with for next year. Oh, send Jack packing too. 76 mil.

Surely, for 76 mil, or through our farm, we can come up with a 2B, C, LF, and CF.

mpimentel

June 18th, 2012
10:04 pm

Get rid of you tickets fans…they don’t deserve to be rout in a game…how could a pro baseball team have in the same lineup: ross,diaz and another rocky in ss??…minor get rock, medlen get hit as well…ventes who knows I’d change the tv. And now j_hey was hit by a pitch…awesome season so far don’you think!!!

go-BRAVOS

June 18th, 2012
10:05 pm

I don’t understand why the pitching coach did not come out there and try to calm Minor down when it was obvious he was struggling in the 5th inning. Fredi and Roger were over there sitting on their hands when it is there job to COACH these guys. I’m not saying Minor would have gotten out of the inning unscathed, but the coach gets paid to coach and they just sat there when a visit to the mound was needed.
Really wouldn’t have mattered with the group of hitters the Braves have. Couldn’t hit themselves out of a wet paper sack.

Go Braves!

freshd

June 18th, 2012
10:09 pm

Fredi Flintstone sure knows how to stand up for his players. I thought he was gonna tip his hat to CC for hitting Heyward on the hand.

Bill

June 18th, 2012
10:11 pm

bob didier..do you trust wren with 76 million to make some good moves..lol
He is the one that caused this mess with his stupid trades and re-run players for cheap. Plus hiring Fredi. I would trust Wren with a dime.

DawgNole

June 18th, 2012
10:12 pm

Larry
June 18th, 2012
9:47 pm

I told you…

I’ve been telling you…

I’ll continue telling you until like more and more my indifference grows…

This is a team in dire need of a philosophical overhaul (the streaky, free swinging hacks with zero situational or circumstantial hitting ability born of Cox and bred unto Gonzalez) and an authentic major league caliber manager and leader of men.

What say you, David O’Brien?
________________________

Not really expecting an answer, are you?

JRW7

June 18th, 2012
10:21 pm

Bad manager, bad team! Wait till next year?

OTP

June 18th, 2012
10:33 pm

I bet FF never goes into a base again with his hand up in the air!

bob didier

June 18th, 2012
10:34 pm

Ok, get rid of Wren and Fredi and give someone with a clue 76 mil to build a team. We could start by bringing the 2 Upton brothers to ATL to play CF and LF.

Uggla is heading southward as well. .251 and leading the team in errors and K’s. Get rid of him.

Jeter loves Chipper, it appears. Get a couple of prospects from the Yanks and let Chipper play for a winner.

This team has far too many holes to be a buyer at the deadline. One LF and 1 pitcher wouldn’t solve our problems. No need to decimate the farm. Be a seller and let this one go. No chance and no clue by management. No clue. NO CLUE.

Hosea Williams

June 18th, 2012
10:40 pm

I read too quick, used to Chipper to DL, no DH…thats an even bigger joke considering he hasn’t sniffed a hit since coming back from the DL/DH or whatever is his real spot.

Harpie

June 18th, 2012
11:22 pm

You can’t fix something unless you admit it’s broken. When is someone, anyone, on this team going to say, “We’re playing like crap.” ? They just keep on like a bunch of clueless automatons. Does any of them have a pulse?

Von Trapp

June 19th, 2012
2:09 am

Harpie

June 18th, 2012
11:22 pm
You nailed it…………………..These Braves are the Robo Braves…………….No emotion No fire No feelings……………Just wind them up and send them out there . Blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes is about the sum of their approach. I guess motivaton is a dirty word in that duggout :)

RGP

June 19th, 2012
6:40 am

Fredi needs to play Ross more at catcher. He is better defensively than McCann and McCann is not hitting like in past years.

bob

June 19th, 2012
7:30 am

Some of you so-called fans really show your ignorance. You expect every prospect to come up and be an all-star from the beginning. Give Minor a break. The team hasn’t scored any runs for him. He’s shown he can pitch in this league and just needs to be more consistent. A. lot of you would have probably traded Glavine when he went 5-14 at the beginning of his career. Freeman was hitting almost .280 before he had the eye problem and now the freak accident with his finger. The Braves need to sign Prado and Bourn to long-term contracts and either play Prado at third and let Chipper be a pinch hitter and start drafting position players, especially 3b. The rest of you, who never strike out or make an error and always pitch a perfect game should just shut up and suit up and let’s see how you do.

MikeY

June 19th, 2012
8:34 am

RGP, I agree w/ you, especially against LH pitchers. Ross is currently hitting .385 w/ an OPS of 1.154 vs LHP…

Disbott3000

June 19th, 2012
8:46 am

Our team has some of the worst fans anywhere. It’s one thing to be fairly critical of the team, another to just throw out wild “fire everybody” rants. The results aren’t what anybody wants or expects, but do you really think the players aren’t trying to win? That’s just crazy, as is calling for them to trade Chipper (??????). There are number of reasons why that would never happen, so many I won’t bother listing them here. Either be a real fan and support the team, or do yourself and the rest of us a favor and just go away. GO BRAVES!!

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 19th, 2012
9:49 am

Yo, Disbott3000:

We don’t want to fire everybody. Just Havana Fats, Roger McDoofus and Frank Wrenched!

parabrave

June 19th, 2012
9:53 am

ok it’s time to put chipper in a coaching position and put Prado at 3rd. Trade deadline is quickly approaching, now go get us a real left fielder. We are quickly becoming the cubs of the east.

Alex T

June 19th, 2012
9:55 am

“Freeman aiming Tuesday return to lineup; Chipper to DH”

Now, how many of you instantly thought of Disabled List, not Designated Hitter?

kreedham

June 19th, 2012
10:00 am

Chipper is so susceptible to being hurt that he should be DH in every game in an AL city!

Lost Cause

June 19th, 2012
10:03 am

Beginning to look like Minor should be the long reliever and someone else starting (Let’s try Medlen)

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
10:04 am

@Disbott3000 Be sure and take care of your 40 yr old washed up 3rd baseman. And let him get his glory while he is trying to convince everyone that he is the leader of this little league team.

Realist

June 19th, 2012
10:12 am

Braves record since July 29, 2011 with Jose Constanza in the starting lineup: 24-12 (.667 win %)
Braves record since July 29, 2011 without Jose Constanza in the starting lineup: 39-48 (.448 win %)

Sammy Gershon

June 19th, 2012
10:19 am

Is it just me or does it seem like this team has accepted mediocrity. The faces and body language of every one of the players coming off the field is one of utter complacency. We as a team were yet again embarrassed by a team many considered too old to truly be a threat in the AL east and albeit are playing their best baseball all season are winning by not just their hitting but incredible defense and championship mentality (the braves had more hits then the Yankees through 6 but were still down 2). This again as I have mentioned before is part slump but mainly a psyche issue; one of the few things good coaching can turn around. I hate to bemoan the issue and say “if Bobby were here everything would be all right” because even in #6’s tenure we had high points and low but Bobby coupled with Leo ( whom I believe to be one of greatest pitching coaches of all time) had every players attention inscribing in them a winning attitude and consequently embark on 14 titles in a grueling, 162 (metaphorically) “never ending” seasons. Freddie must look at himself first and change his own attitude towards the game (do you see him strolling out to the field to talk to an umpire?) and only then can he instill confidence in his players. I do understand that the season is still young and only 4.5 games back from the surging Nats, but if the attitude and demeanor of this club does not change immediately the few games we win here and their to stay in contention will be meaningless and yet again we will falter before our true goal to reclaim the throne of baseball.

arizona brave

June 19th, 2012
10:34 am

When Costanza was playing and Chipper was not the Braves were winning,now Chipper is playing Costanza is not,now we are losing. WTF!!!

Von Trapp

June 19th, 2012
10:39 am

Playing Jones as the Design.Hitter should be mandatory from here on out,when he can. Wonder if Jones is alot more injured than FG conveys to the fans. Send him home for a month,if he is not ready. We could use a strong push from Jones around August

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
10:47 am

@arizona brave.. Finally someone agrees. I have been saying that for 2 weeks. GET RID OF CHIPPER. Give us our winning team back.

raymond

June 19th, 2012
11:01 am

If Freeman doesn’t watch it he will be as big a wimp as Chipper is.

C from Marietta

June 19th, 2012
11:01 am

No not Costanza. He is terrible. Fast but can’t get on base.

C from Marietta

June 19th, 2012
11:06 am

Costanza does not equal a winning team.

rich

June 19th, 2012
11:07 am

@Von Trapp – this team with this manager and this general manager will be buried by August

Mark in ATL

June 19th, 2012
11:37 am

I don’t think anyone expected a world series from this team coming out of last yrs collapse but this is pitiful…

Von Trapp

June 19th, 2012
11:44 am

Good point rich………….I think Jones is being more of a distraction,by coming and going via the hurts he seems to get every other week. I say take a chance and send him home for month. Bring him back and if he gets hurt again……………Slam him in a rockin chair and send him to the Hall of Fame,where in the end, he has earned, but so far this year is a bust. :)

Sons of Rick Matula

June 19th, 2012
11:46 am

I am riding shotgun on the Fire Fredi bus and can’t wait until season’s end when Wren is gone but the bad luck this team has had over the past year or more is unbelievable. Prado goes down in 2010, McCann’s fade in 2011 cost them the post-season, Freddie’s freak injuries and vision woes in 2012. Now we lose really our best pitcher for a year and a half. But – then – all teams go through this. The fraud is that we were asked to believe that Livan, Hinske, Wilson, Diaz and their ilk are major league reserves ready to step in. Frank “I like our club” Wren is on the clock to upgrade this roster (with no resources, really). Unenviable but he made his bed.

cowdogit

June 19th, 2012
12:34 pm

C FROM MARIETTA ” They win with Canstanza , They lose without Canstanza .I guess you are like Fredi ,winning is not important .

C from Marietta

June 19th, 2012
12:39 pm

@cowgoit

Where do you get I like Fredi, b/c I think Costanza stinks? He is hitting .250. Exactly what does Costanza do to tip this team to a winner? I dissagree that Costanza will help the Braves win and you get winning is not important. Man, talking reading between the lines. Costanza is terrible, but I am open to hearing why he is this savior of the Braves season.

smallmouth6

June 19th, 2012
12:40 pm

What games are bloggers watching when they say Constanza doesn’t get on base. Promise you he’s got more hits than Hinske in comparable time. More than just about any bench player. He goes into a slump. Bring him back up, play him, and we’ll start winning close games again.

Largo

June 19th, 2012
12:43 pm

Chipper is not productive whether he is on the bench or playing. Sure hope he doesn’t change his mind about retiring, he’s worthless.

Donald Duck

June 19th, 2012
12:47 pm

$50 says Chipper swings at the first pitch he sees tonight. Again.

I like how we allow the Yankees and Orioles pitchers to have 6 & 7 pitch innings. No wonder they’re going complete games on us. How about just a tough at bat guys? Even if it results in an out, go up and see some pitches.

C from Marietta

June 19th, 2012
12:47 pm

Constanza has a .250 OBP this year (terrible). Last season in limited time. He had a .303 OBP (not that good) and last year he started red hot and then went VERY cold. In 57 games he has a OBP = .281. That is not getting on base enough to tip the Braves over the top.

Bat Boy

June 19th, 2012
12:49 pm

who wants to smell my finger?

MikeY

June 19th, 2012
12:55 pm

Just a note, Livan Hernandez cleared waivers, so any team can pick him up for the pro-rated MLB minimum…and the Braves are on the hook for his $750K slary for the rest of the year.

A very bad signing. Johan Flande had pitched great in spring training, and deserved a shot w/ the team as a lefty long reliever.

Hard work sometimes does not pay…

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

June 19th, 2012
12:58 pm

Prado is obviously the best 3B on the roster. Much as I like Chipper, he is not long for the season. That guy stayed around 2yrs too long and it shows.

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
1:16 pm

@C from Marrietta Give it up man. It doesn’t matter what Constanza is hitting. He is a spark plug to this team. When they sent him down to make room for the BOSS they started losing. Chipper-go home, Boss your kids. Leave our team alone. Bring back Constanza and we will win. So Mr C from Marietta take your BOSS back to his ranch and leave our team alone. We win with Constanza

Waffle House or Bust

June 19th, 2012
1:44 pm

Am I the only one that feels like Chipper is holding this team back?

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
1:55 pm

@Waffle House or Bust I agree. The BOSS is running the team and that is the problem.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

June 19th, 2012
2:17 pm

Chipper has held us back for about 3 yrs. Both salary and in on-field play. All-time brave for sure but time has definitely come.

C from Marietta

June 19th, 2012
2:22 pm

LOL. @Whiskey River your a freaking moron. I don’t know why you have this lover affair with a 4th Outfielder at BEST, but your a fool.

Ekim

June 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

Love reading the hate from time to time. Wound way too tight, many of you are. An yes, I’m a fan. I’m attending 12 games this year, driving a 200-mile round trip for each of them (except for one weekend, when I’m spending the night because of back-to-back games).

Ekim

June 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

In other words, it’s Baseball. Not Life. Get one. Life, that is.

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
2:36 pm

@Cfrom Marietta My friend Check our record with Constanza and without the Boss and then Ccheck with the Boss and without Constanza. Winning record with constanza. Now who is the fool. Quit loving the Boss. He is the problem. Wake up.

Whiskey River

June 19th, 2012
2:38 pm

@Ekim Sure are glad you are spending your money on this little league team. Not going to get my money.

harry taylor

June 19th, 2012
2:49 pm

@Ekim- I could find time more productive time than driving 200 mile round trip to see a bunch of clowns and an overaged hurt divorced third baseman, that eats at Hooters.

wd40

June 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

scrolling over the argument between C from Marietta and Whiskey River…the 1st one to “give up” and resort to personal attacks was NOT the beverage…

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