Braves players intrigued by Freeman position change

080315 ATLANTA: The setting sun breaks through a tunnel at Turner Field as Braves Freddie Freeman bats during early innings against the Giants in a baseball game on Monday, August 3, 2015, in Atlanta. Freeman ending up leaving the game shortly after his at bat.  Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Caption
080315 ATLANTA: The setting sun breaks through a tunnel at Turner Field as Braves Freddie Freeman bats during early innings against the Giants in a baseball game on Monday, August 3, 2015, in Atlanta. Freeman ending up leaving the game shortly after his at bat. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Freddie Freeman and the Braves are serious about his transition to third base.

The face of the franchise first baseman said he brought up a potential move two weeks ago to keep the not-so-versatile Matt Adams’ hot bat in the lineup when Freeman returns from the disabled list. Freeman fielded ground balls at third with third base coach Ron Washington on Wednesday afternoon. He plans to return sometime around the All-Star break.

Fans and spectators weren’t the only ones surprised at the suggestion. Freeman’s teammates are just as interested.

Utility man Danny Santana:

“To be honest, I was really surprised to hear the whole press conference and what was said. You know, I can’t tell you if it’s a good move or not, but the idea of Freddie moving over there to be able to help the team and keep Adams in the lineup sure is kind of intriguing, encouraging.

Third baseman Rio Ruiz:

“Good for him. I mean, any way you can get him in the lineup. Plain and simple, if it’s going to help us win then that’s the best thing for the team.

“I don’t know (any advice). I can’t really be the one to tell you that because I’ve only played third base since high school. He’s played the other position across the diamond, so I don’t think it’ll be too hard for him. He’s an athlete. He’s a baseball player. It’s not going to be too hard.”

Outfielder Nick Markakis:

“I mean, it’s going to help the team. I’m sure he’s up for it, up for a challenge. I know he’s played the position before. They’re kind of similar positions. Just on the opposite side and you have to make a throw. He’s talented enough, enough of an athlete to be able to make that adjustment pretty quickly.

“I’ve seen a lot of things in my years in this job. But it’s just a matter of being comfortable and being up for the challenge. And with his competitiveness and athletic ability, I don’t think he’s going to have any problems with it.”

Second baseman Brandon Philips:

“I don’t make decisions, man. Just seeing Freddie move around, I feel like he can do it if he wants to put his mind to it. Having him and Adams in the lineup together, that’d be epic honestly. But you know, I’m just here playing and it’d be nice to see them both playing at the same time. It’d be awesome but like I said, that’s really up to Freddie.”

First baseman Matt Adams:

“It speaks volumes on the type of guy that he is. He has been one of the best first basemen in the league ever since he arrived. I think that just shows the confidence that he has and the confidence that the organization has. Nothing is set in stone. I’m still taking it day by day, all that is out of my control. What I can control is going out there on a daily basis and showing up here ready to compete.

“Yeah, absolutely (it’s a compliment), but I’m not the type of guy to sit here and dwell on that because it’s out of my hands. Those are decisions that are going to be made without my judgment.”

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Braves slugger Freeman offered to move to third base to keep Matt Adams in the lineup at first base, and the Bravss are going to try it. (Video by David O'Brien)

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