Refreshed Freddie Freeman returns to Braves lineup

Frederick Charles Freeman was born Sept. 12, 1989 in Fountain Valley, Calif. The Braves selected Freeman in the second round (78th overall) of the 2007 draft. Freeman made his major league debut Sept. 1, 2010 against the Mets. He was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Freeman was hitless in his first six at-bats before his single to center in the ninth inning of his fourth game. Freeman’s first hit came off Clay Hensley on Sept. 5, 2010. Freeman was 4-for-24 in that 2010 call-up, with a home run and an RBI. The

Freddie Freeman, after four days off, can straighten his right arm without feeling any discomfort for the first time in two months.

The Braves’ All-Star first baseman returned to the lineup Friday for the team’s opener in New York. Freeman, who left Sunday’s game in the eighth inning, had four days off to treat a bone spur in his right elbow.

“I feel really good,” Freeman said. “I can straighten my arm with no problems. I’m very encouraged. I guess I just needed the four days off. I felt pretty good on Tuesday. I told (head trainer) George (Poulis) that I was going to fly to Kansas City on Wednesday and play.”

Freeman has persisted through bone spurs across several seasons, he said, but the pain became intolerable earlier this month in Washington, forcing his early exit from a game. He began feeling pain again last homestand, eventually leading to Sunday’s events.

The 30-year-old was sputtering before his break. Freeman hit .091/.300/.136 in eight games since the day he was forced out against the Nationals.

After sitting out the brief two-game series in Kansas City, Freeman feels rejuvenated. He didn’t swing during his break and returned to the batting cage before Friday’s game. And as Freeman noted, the four-day rest has allowed him to straighten his right arm without any pain for the first time in “a month or two.”

“He feels like he’s good to go for two more months,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “If you played baseball, you probably have spurs, too. It’s a very common thing for baseball players. If they get in the wrong spot, they can be painful. Those things you can always play through, but sometimes they lock up and you have to back off a bit. That’s where we were the last couple times.”

The Braves wanted him to play two of the final three games in New York, though Freeman hopes to play in all three. The weekend in Queens could serve as a nice appetizer for the postseason, with the Braves slated to face starters Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard.

Freeman has hit .296/.391/.555 with 38 homers and 121 RBIs across 155 games. He enters Friday three RBIs behind Washington’s Anthony Rendon for the MLB lead.

“I feel the best I have in a while,” Freeman said. “I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

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