Freddie Freeman was removed entering the bottom of the fourth inning Friday with elbow soreness, the team announced.
The Braves’ first baseman was replaced by utilityman Charlie Culberson. The Braves had just taken a 2-0 lead against the Nationals in a game they went on to win 5-0.
Freeman is considered day-to-day, according to manager Brian Snitker, after he jerked his elbow diving for a ball. It acted up a spur in his throwing elbow, so the team removed him as a precaution.
“It’s calmed down,” Freeman said. “I know (Snitker) probably mentioned the spur. I’ve had it for years. And when I made that backhand play, I jammed my elbow so it flared up. They got me out and got me treatment.
“I’ve always been able to play through it and deal with it over the last couple years. It’s never affected me. I don’t anticipate this affecting me now.”
Freeman has played through the spur before, but Friday was sharper than usual. He intends to play Saturday, if not Sunday after a day of rest.
Freeman has been the team’s backbone and ranks among the National League’s top MVP candidates. Freeman, who turned 30 Thursday, has hit .303 with 38 homers and a league-leading 117 RBIs.
“We’ll just wait and see how he feels when he gets up,” Snitker said regarding Freeman’s availability Saturday. “What I expect from Freddie? That he’ll be in, hitting third in the lineup, playing first. But I don’t know. I just talked to him. Feels good now. Hopefully it does (Saturday). But if it doesn’t, we’ll plan B. You talk about expectations from Freddie, it’s that he’s going to play. The guy’s a gamer, man.”
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