Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman Nick Markakis slumping in August
Ironmen don’t exist anymore
Freeman’s played in all 131 games this season amassing 1166 2/3 innings so far, that’s fourth on the list of innings played this season and he’s a big man who runs the bases like Ozzie Albies. I applaud that but it takes a toll.
More than once this month I’ve seen Freeman look at his wrist after a swing as well. It’s impossible to know if it’s bothering him, he’d deny it if asked so there’s no point speculating. However, I know from experience that old injuries seem to hurt more when you’re tired.
I’m positive manager Brian Snitker would rest Freeman if he had a genuine backup and not just an emergency guy who can play first in a pinch – well that and some nice strong chains to hold him on the bench.
A player like Justin Smoak or Lucas Duda would seem a nice add at his point, both cleared waivers earlier in the month are free agents after the season ends. Smoak (.248/.355/.458/.813) is a switch hitter and solid defender at first. Duda hits from the left side with a significant L/R split – hits RHP at a .267/.335/.479/.814 clip this season – and an average defender.
Once the Atlanta Braves clinch the East, Snitker must find a way to get Freddie whole games off. It might be time to give Nick Markakis a day off too.
August attacks Markakis
Maybe it’s a coincidence but about the time Freeman went into his min-slump, Markakis did as well. Unlike Freeman, Markakis sped through 2018 so far without s significant hiccup in performance.
He led the league in hitting and Freeman passed him a few weeks back but in recent weeks both players slipped out of the top spot. Markakis sits in second with a .311 average behind Scooter Gennett’s .313. Freeman and Christian Yelich are tied for third with .310.
If it seemed like a regular occurrence that Ender Inciarte and/or Ronald Acuna would get on base and remain there after both Freeman and Markakis hit, you wouldn’t be far off. Markakis didn’t fall off as sharply a Freeman but his production is down.