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Freddie Freeman is on his way back

Apr 21, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

Freddie Freeman AP

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow after a stint on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. In Freeman’s absence, Chris Johnson — acquired with Justin Upton from Arizona — has been getting the lion’s share of the playing time at first base and has impressed offensively. Johnson is now hitting .407 and has been the Braves’ most reliable hitter this side of Justin Upton.

The Braves had been using Johnson in a platoon with the left-handed Juan Francisco, but manager Fredi Gonzalez has been enamored with Johnson’s hitting enough to hand him the everyday job now that Freeman is taking back his position at first base.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Carroll Rogers:

When Freeman returns to first base, Gonzalez is expected to give Johnson the every-day role at third base, instead of platooning with Juan Francisco.

Gonzalez hinted at it on Saturday and by Sunday it sounded like a foregone conclusion.

“Guy is leading the league in hitting, you know?” Gonzalez said. “We’re not exactly hitting on all cylinders, so…”

Freeman was hitting .412 with a home run in 19 plate appearances before being sidelined with the injury.

  1. atltoarizona - Apr 21, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Seems like the Braves could use this little boost. Hopefully the whole season isn’t home runs or nothing.

  2. bolweevils2 - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Juan Francisco hasn’t exactly been chopped liver thus far either though. Against right handed starters, he has an OPS of .954. (Which is actually marginally better than Johnson’s .912 OPS against right handed starters)

    But what baseball manager even knows what OPS means?

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