Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman Could Return to Team on Monday

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 18, 2013

As the Atlanta Braves embark on their 10-game road trip that will take them to Pittsburgh, Colorado and Detroit, they received some good news regarding one of their star players.

According to MLB.com's Mark Bowman, Freeman is on track to return to the Braves lineup on Monday at Coors Field.

Freeman was placed on the disabled list back on April 7 with a strained right oblique that he had played with during the opening week of the season.

Because the Braves front office did not want the injury to get worse, Freeman was shut down for 15 days, and now it looks like the injury is healed. 

With his oblique rested and ready to go, Freeman will return with Triple-A Gwinnett this weekend in three games against the Charlotte Knights.

Because of the unique minor league schedule, Freeman and Gwinnett will visit Charlotte on Friday and Saturday before hosting the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. 

In his first five games this season, Freeman was off to a hot start, going 7-for-17 with one home run and seven RBI. 

With Freeman absent from the lineup, the Braves have used the hot-hitting Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson at first base.

To coincide with Freeman's activation from the disabled list, the Braves will have to send someone down to Gwinnett.

The most likely candidate for the demotion will be Blake DeWitt or Ramiro Pena. The former was called up to take the place of Freeman on the roster, the latter was the extra-inning hero against the Nationals on April 12. 

Both infielders are versatile, but Pena's ability to play both shortstop and second base along with third base should hand him the advantage over DeWitt. 

 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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