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The Daily Chop: Freddie Freeman expected back next week, Austin Riley and more

The Braves maintain that they aren’t concerned with Freeman’s latest setback.

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The big news from the start of spring camp for the Atlanta Braves has so far centered on injuries. First there was the report on Cole Hamels and his injured shoulder that was released on the day pitchers and catchers reported. Then came the news that Freddie Freeman was dealing with discomfort in his elbow that caused him to be scratched from the team’s lineup earlier this week.

We will have to wait a bit longer for an update on Hamels but Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos told’s Mark Bowman and the AJC’s Gabe Burns on Wednesday that the team isn't concerned about Freeman’s injury and that they expect him to be back in the lineup next week. Anthopoulos added that the discomfort stemmed from Freeman’s increased activity this spring and that it was normal following that type of offseason procedure. Hopefully it isn’t something that lingers but the Braves should continue to exercise caution with Freeman who likely won’t require a lot of at-bats to get ready for the upcoming season.

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Coming into spring training the thought was that Johan Camargo might have the inside track to landing the third base job at least initially so that Austin Riley could begin the season at Triple-A where he could continue to work on adjustments before returning to takeover the position at some point this season. However,’s Mark Bowman in his weekly mailbag states that the Braves are saying that they will carry Riley, Kyle Wright or any of their other MLB-ready prospects on the Opening Day roster if they are clearly the better option at the end of camp. Riley winning the third base job sooner rather than later would likely be the best case scenario with Camargo sliding back into a utility role would likely be the best case scenario for the Braves going forward.

Atlanta’s offense hasn’t really gotten into gear so far this spring but they did get a couple of home runs from Travis d’Arnaud and Bryce Ball in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Orioles.

Speaking of d’Arnaud, Brent Blackwell took a look at how the Braves might go about splitting up the playing time at the catcher position.

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The Milwaukee Brewers and Freddy Peralta are reportedly nearing an agreement on a five-year, $15.5 million extension. The deal reportedly includes a pair of club options that could bring the total value to $30 million.

The New York Yankees have already lost James Paxton and Luis Severino to injury and now may be without Giancarlo Stanton for the start of the season due to a calf injury. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain in his right calf for Stanton and manager Aaron Boone told reporters that he would be out for a bit with the injury.

The Mets got some good news on J.D. Davis who underwent an MRI on his shoulder Tuesday. The exam didn’t reveal any new structural damage and Davis is expected to begin rehab right away.

Finally, Matt Kemp told reporters that he believes he has plenty left to offer at the major league level and that he is hoping that he can play at least four or five more years.

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