Freddie Freeman was out of the Braves lineup Saturday due to a stomach virus that the Braves hope is just a 24-hour ailment.
The slugger started 52 consecutive games before Saturday, when Freeman was told by the Braves medical staff stay home rather than risk spreading the virus to teammates and others in the clubhouse.
“It’s a situation where we didn’t want him around everybody,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It sounds like a 24-hour bug, something his whole family had. One of those things where you just don’t want – we were around him all day yesterday, so you hope none of these guys come down with anything really, because, man, that’s something that could rip through a clubhouse in a hurry.”
Matt Adams was at first base for the Braves in Saturday night’s game against the Phillies at SunTrust Park.
In Freeman’s past 19 games, he’s hit .329 with seven doubles, five home runs, a .630 slugging percentage and 1.042 OPS, a torrid stretch that began the day he said he’d lost considerable bat speed since returning from a seven-week stint on the disabled list for the left-wrist fracture he sustained in May.
Freeman has hit .314 with a .410 OBP and .607 slugging percentage in 108 games. Despite missing just over one-fourth of the season, he was tied for 18th in the National League with 28 home runs before Saturday, and his slugging percentage would rank second in the league if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.
Provided he doesn’t miss multiple games, Freeman should finish with enough plate appearances – he is 26 short at present – to qualify for leaderboards and could become just the eighth different Braves player to post a .600 or better slugging percentage in the modern era since 1900.
Freeman’s wife and 1-year-old son both had a stomach virus late in the week.
“He got it,” Snitker said. “It kind of goes through the household. Hopefully it doesn’t go through here. Hopefully it’s a 24-hour thing and he’s good to go.”
When asked if Freeman might have to be kept off the team charter flight Sunday to New York if still sick, Snitker daid, “I don’t know that they’d gotten that far yet. Something that’s going to have to be discussed.”