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Atlanta Braves news and links - 7/17

Freddie Freeman may not be back so soon, and more!

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Braves News:

Freddie Freeman injury update

Fantastic. It would appear that Brave's star first baseman Freddie Freeman may not be coming back as soon as we would have hoped. As John Hart explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Schultz, "It's more serious than we expected".  Freeman has been on the disabled list since June 18, and while it's still unclear how much longer he'll be out of the lineup for, but he's been missed; his .299 average and 12 home runs lead the team.

Mets' pitchers better than Brave's 1990's staff, per John Smoltz

So, a rotation of pitchers in their early-20's, albeit talented, are better than a staff of pitchers considered to be the best of all time, one that garnered three Hall of Famers? According to John Smoltz, member of that legendary 1990's Braves pitching staff, today's young Mets core of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz is better Whether it's true or not, it's certainly interesting coming from Smoltz.

"They're way better," Smoltz told the New York Daily News when asked how the Amazin's rotationMATCHES up. "They've got more talent than we could ever have."

Braves add an arm to their 'pen

With the injury to Jason Grilli/potential Jim Johnson trade, the Braves added veteran relief pitcher Jason Fraser to the team today, per multiple reports. The 37-year-old sports a career 3.69 ERA and an 8.34 K/9. In 23.1 innings pitchedthis season for the Kansas City Royals, Frasor posted a 1.54 ERA before being released.

MLB News:

Pedro Martinez believes 60% of players were using PED's during his career

The late 1990's to early 200's were the peak of the steroid era in baseball. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, you know the rest. But according to Pedro Martinez, a man who dominated the steroid era better than no other, 60% of players were using PED's during this time. This theory has been floated out before, sometimes as an excuse to vote in guys like Bonds and Clemens, but until we have solid proof, all it is is speculation.

Power rankings headed into second half

Matt Snyder of CBSSorts released his mid-season power rankings, and like many, he's got the Pittsburgh Pirates at the top. The NL Central leading St. Luis Cardinals pulled in at No. 3. The highest NL East team is (by no surprise at all) those pesky Washington Nationals, at No. 7. I won't spoil where he ranked the Braves, but they're certainly on the lower end.

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