- Everyone in the Atlanta Braves organization probably held their collective breaths when star first baseman Freddie Freeman was drilled in the left wrist by a fastball in Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite their hopes, the worst case scenario has been realized as Freeman has indeed fractured his left wrist and will miss about 10 weeks in order to properly recover, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The good news is that he won’t require surgery, meaning his recovery time isn’t as long as it could have been. Still, the Braves will be lacking sorely in his absence as Freeman has established himself as the heart and soul of the lineup. He is one of the best hitting first baseman in all of baseball and made himself the Braves’ most valuable player during the past few years, as they sold off key veteran pieces in an effort to accelerate a rebuild. He was hitting a robust .341/.461/.748 with 14 home runs, 25 RBIs, 11 doubles and a triple throughout the first month-and-a-half of the season. Despite the improvements made to the offense over the offseason, the Braves were unlikely to be able to compete for a postseason spot in 2017 but with Freeman down for the count, their offense will struggle mightily making it extremely difficult to win games. Their internal options are sorely lacking when it comes to finding a replacement at first base and the free agent market isn’t much better considering the top options are James Loney and Ryan Howard. It doesn’t seem particularly likely the Braves will try and make a huge trade as Freeman is not expected to miss the rest of the season, but it would not be surprising to see them try and make some sort of trade to find a satisfactory replacement in Freeman’s absence. The club was already evaluating external options while awaiting Freeman’s test results. The biggest tragedy in Freeman’s injury is that he will miss serious time and be unable to continue to dominate and wow the entire baseball industry once again.
- Cleveland Indians righty Corey Kluber tossed a 40-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. He reportedly looked pretty good throwing the bullpen session and now will prepare for a simulated game over the weekend. Once he makes it through the simulated game, and if he comes out feeling alright, a rehab game should be close on the horizion, making a possible return before the end of May probably. The Indians can ill afford to be without Kluber much longer, as his absence in the rotation has placed a tremendous bulk of pressure on the other starting pitchers and the results have been inconsistent.
- The Los Angeles Angels have signed right-hander Doug Fister to a major league contract per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The veteran was reportedly close to signing with a team since last week and now it is revealed that his newest team will be the Angels. Despite his deal being a major league contract, Fister most likely has given consent to be sent down to the minors, where he can spend some time ramping up baseball activities seeing as he hasn’t pitched in a live game yet in the season and needs some time to get back into game form before pitching at the major league level.
- The Braves have already found their replacement for Freeman while he deals with a fractured left wrist. The Braves have signed veteran James Loney to a minor league pact per Jon Heyman of FanRag. The Braves needed some depth to cover at first base while Freeman was out and have decided to ride with Loney. Loney has some nice hitting skills but has never been able to hit for power hence why he was still on the free agent market as first base has gone back to being a power-hitting position primarily.
- The Toronto Blue Jays have suspended center fielder Kevin Pillar for 2 games per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Pillar has admitted to using homophobic language against veteran pitcher Jason Motte of the Atlanta Braves in Wednesday’s ballgame after an at-bat. The center fielder has apologized for his language via his twitter account but the Blue Jays have take it upon themselves to discipline for using unacceptable language that reflects badly on both Pillar and the organization.
- Pittsburgh Pirates righty Jameson Taillon has indeed been diagnosed with testicular cancer per Adam Berry of MLB.com. The right-hander was going through some tests last week to confirm the diagnosis and now has a conclusive diagnosis. Taillon’s next step is to be determined but he is rejoining the Pirates later in the week to do some light baseball activities. He will undergo more tests next week. Best wishes to the young righty for a speedy recovery.