Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been one of baseball’s best players in the second half of 2016, and on Monday he was rewarded with NL Player of the Week honors for the third time this season. Freeman batted .500 with two home runs and seven RBIs in six games last week, adding to what has been a highly productive season for the 27-year old.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com writes that the Atlanta Braves combination of talented pitching and newly-acquired infielder Kevin Maitan are enough to make the Braves’ instructional league roster an intriguing group. He includes a quote from Braves team president John Schuerholz about the highly-touted Maitan:
"You have your guard up, you don't know the actual truth until you lay eyes on him," Schuerholz said. "When I did, he could've fit right into a Double- or Triple-A batting practice. It's now power, this guy is going to be a special player. He's already gained weight in a good way, he's gotten stronger, but it hasn't hurt his agility and footwork. We'll give him every opportunity to stay at short."
If you plan on attending the Braves’ final game at Turner Field on Sunday, then you might want to start making arrangements now. AJC.com reports that the Braves are now selling standing room only tickets for the team’s final game at the House That Ted Built.
“Buyers of the “limited number” of standing-room tickets won’t have a reserved seat but can stand in designated areas within the sold-out stadium, the Braves said.”
The Miami Marlins honored the memory of Jose Fernandez on Monday night by equipping the entire team with the number 16 in what will be the final time it is ever worn by any Marlin. The team announced prior to the game that Fernandez’ number would be retired, showing once again how great an impact the 24-year old had on the entire organization.
Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon rose to the occasion Monday night in a way that seemed impossible, homering for the first time this season in the first Marlins at-bat since the passing of their beloved ace Jose Fernandez. Gordon was visibly emotional while rounding the bases, and broke down once he reached his teammates in the dugout. It was the type of moment that you couldn’t script any better, and Gordon called it “the best thing that ever happened to me” in his post-game interview.
On a lighter note, the Cleveland Indians became champions of the American League Central on Monday night, beating Detroit 7-4 to clinch their first division title since 2007. The Tribe will now await the results of the season’s final week to determine their division series opponent.