“In other sports, you can hit harder, you can do things harder,” Freeman said. “In baseball you can’t try and throw harder. You can’t try and swing harder. In this game you got to slow down and try and not do things as hard as you possibly can.”
When Freeman signed with the Dodgers, the Braves lost their unquestioned leader, the one who often served as the voice of the clubhouse and the face of the franchise. That naturally left a leadership void on the club.
That doesn’t mean there are no leaders in there, though.
Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson seem like guys who could be taking on Freeman’s role in that way. And perhaps they’ve learned from him.
Asked what he took from Freeman, d’Arnaud said: “Just being there every day for your guys. That’s basically it. Be the same person every day, regardless of if you’re good or bad. I try to take that every day, not only into baseball but into life.”
Freeman no longer is in the Braves’ clubhouse, but perhaps some of his leadership rubbed off on others who still are with the team.
“They sat around and saw how he did it, how professional he was and consistent he was,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Friday. “Things like that, I think, have a lasting effect on guys.”
Rosario begins rehab assignment
Eddie Rosario (laser eye procedure) on Saturday began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett.
He was the Stripers’ leadoff hitter and designated hitter.
Rosario underwent the procedure in late April and has been out ever since. Recently, he began ramping up baseball activities to get to this point.
McHugh caught back up
Braves reliever Collin McHugh missed almost two weeks because of COVID-19. He returned during the team’s series in Chicago before this homestand, but he had been looking to settle in a bit more.
Friday could have done the trick.
He tossed three scoreless innings versus the Dodgers in his longest outing of the season. He entered the game with the bases loaded and allowed only one run to score (it was charged to Ian Anderson).
Snitker and pitching coach Rick Kranitz talked about why McHugh’s most recent appearance was so important for him.
“We kind of feel like we got him caught up now after the layoff,” Snitker said. “Kind of just working him back in. I think that was good for him to get out there, throw his pitches, repeat his delivery, the whole thing. It was really good.”
Lee pitching well out of the bullpen
Don’t look now, but Dylan Lee has allowed only one earned run in 14-2/3 innings for the Braves. Lee on Friday hurled 1-1/3 scoreless frames.
He may not resemble Kenley Jansen or A.J. Minter or McHugh in name recognition, but he is becoming a reliable option out of the bullpen for Snitker.
“He’s kind of crossed that threshold of being a guy, I think,” Snitker said.