Freeman battling some eye dryness

Braves slugger Freddie Freeman has gone hitless on back-to-back days.
caption arrowCaption
Braves slugger Freddie Freeman has gone hitless on back-to-back days.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

When you’re Freddie Freeman these days and you go hitless on back-to-back days, it’s a curiosity. Freeman conceded Wednesday morning he’s had some problems lately with dryness in his eyes.

Freeman said he went to see team optometrist Dr. David Ross Tuesday night, who told him he has some “abrasions in the whites of his eyes,” but he’s treating it with drops and gel he puts in before he goes to sleep. Freeman felt good enough to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

“Everything is all right - nothing on the corneas,” Freeman said. “I had some little abrasions on the whites of my eyes, and it was dry, so I had to clean my lids out and my tear ducts and get them going again. He said I should be fully healthy by Friday. I’ve got to deal with it a little bit today, but I’ll be good.”

The Braves have an off day Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Reds on Friday.

Freeman was leading the majors in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and batting .389, when the Braves went to New York this past weekend and the cold and windy conditions at Citi Field started to bother him.

“After the first game in New York, the wind was blowing straight in, it dried my eyes out,” Freeman said. “And I felt it a little bit in the second game, but I was able to get some hits that day (going 3-for-4) so I was like maybe it’s in my head. Then the next day it was a little worse.”

On Monday, Freeman said five minutes before he took the field against the Marlins, his left contact broke in his eye. Trainers were able to get the rest of it out, give him some drops, and he played, but Freeman went 0-for-9 with four strikeouts the first two games of this series, his first two hitless games of the year.

Freeman, like Brian McCann, has battled vision issues over the years. They were exacerbated for Freeman during a trip to Coors Field in May of 2012, when windy conditions caused him major dry-eye problems. Freeman struggled much of that season finding suitable eyewear. He eventually settled on a specific kind of contact lens that helps his eyes stay moist and then he wears non-prescription wrap-around glasses in the field to protect his eyes from wind and irritants.

Freeman doesn’t like wearing glasses at the plate because he doesn’t want anything obstructing his peripheral vision.

Freeman has not a missed a game this season.