CHARLOTTE, S.C. -- Freddie Freeman will begin his rehab assignment on Saturday and will play at third base for the first time in nearly a decade.
Freeman will start at third base and hit third in the line up for the Gwinnett Braves who are on the road to face the Charlotte Knights.
"I’m not nervous. I’m just anxious about that first ground ball tonight," Freeman said with a grin before Saturday's game.
Freeman has been on the disabled list since May when he was hit by a pitch that fractured his left wrist. He was in a cast, and was expected to be out about 10 weeks. But he healed quickly, coming back much sooner.
Freeman was batting .341 with an NL-best 14 home runs and a 1.209 on base plus slugging before the injury. Because of the success Matt Adams has had since joining the club after Freeman's injury, Freeman was willing to move to third to allow the team to keep Adams and his bat. Adams is hitting .294 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs with Atlanta.
"Learning a new position, well 10 years has gone by since I’ve played it. So kind of doing it in the middle of the season can give you a little uneasy feeling in your stomach going out there," Freeman said. "It’s a little different. First base was second nature to me."
Freeman expects to get three at bats on Saturday before coming out. But even after his third appearance at the plate, he may stay in the game a little longer to get more reps on defense.
Freeman will be with the G-Braves, the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate, through the road series. He will play at Coolray Field July 4-5. Depending on how he feels after a few rehab starts will determine when he will return to the majors.
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