Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/7/13
The Atlanta Braves have placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the disabled list with a strained oblique. He reportedly suffered the injury last Sunday during a workout and opted to play through it, but was visibly in pain during Saturday night's game with the Cubs, necessitating his placement on the DL before the injury gets even worse. Atlanta has called Blake DeWitt up from AAA Gwinnett to replace Freeman on the roster, but DeWitt likely will just serve as an extra bench bat for the squad. Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco will both taking full-time starting roles at the infield corners instead of platooning at third base. The Braves are without shortstop Andrelton Simmons for the timebeing as well after he injured his thumb sliding into second base on Friday night against the Cubs. Simmons missed two months of play in 2012 with a fractured right hand, an injury he also suffered sliding into second base. Freeman's cleanup spot in Atlanta's lineup is being filled today by backup catcher Evan Gattis, who has evenly split playing time with Gerald Laird this year. BJ Upton has been shifted to the leadoff spot over the last two games with Simmons out, and once Simmons comes back, he'll likely drop in the order and potentially take Freeman's spot in the heart of the Braves lineup, or move to the fifth spot (where he started the first four games) with Dan Uggla jumping to the cleanup spot. Luckily for Atlanta, their schedule isn't a killer over the next two weeks, with a three game series in Washington being surrounded by a road series in Miami, a two-game homestand against the Royals, and four in Pittsburgh. Freeman has a .412/.474/.647 line this year for the Braves in five games with a team-leading seven RBI. Oblique injuries can linger, and the Braves don't have a solid replacement option for Freeman in-house right now, so the team needed to nip this in the bud now before it became an even more substantial issue later on. [follow]
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