Spring Training 2013: Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman Is Pain-Free And Ready To Go

Brian McCann Gets Good Report From Doctors

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Freddie Freeman
Freddie Freeman
- photo by Tim Evearitt

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A frustrated Freddie Freeman went through the final four months of last season wondering when his injured left index finger would allow him to grip a baseball bat in pain-free fashion. He received his answer when he began taking batting practice after the arrival of the new year.

Freeman's left index finger was badly bruised when he was hit with a Jose Reyes throw while sliding with his arm extended toward the former Marlins shortstop on June 6. Freeman played in just seven games of the two weeks that followed, and he felt restricted with his swing during the remainder of the season.

Freeman injured his finger around the time he was starting to overcome the vision problems that plagued him throughout May. The 23-year-old first baseman is also happy to say that he has not experienced any recent problems with his eyesight. He has found a comfortable pair of contact lenses that he plans to protect with clear Oakley sunglasses that are expected to arrive within the next two weeks.

Freeman's vision became a problem immediately after he had been named National League Player of the Week for the second time in the season's first five weeks. He batted .298 with six home runs and a .864 OPS in his first 28 games. Burdened by the blurred eyesight and sore finger, he batted . 251 with 17 homers and a .781 OPS in his final 118 games.

* * * *

Brian McCann understands that he is likely at least two months away from being cleared to play in a Major League game. But the Braves catcher was still encouraged with the update he received after his surgically repaired right shoulder was evaluated by the team's orthopedic surgeon Dr. Xavier Duralde on Saturday morning.

McCann will attempt to remain patient while going through a long rehab process that will likely keep him out of Atlanta's starting lineup for at least the first two weeks of the regular season. The six-time All-Star catcher was cleared on Saturday to begin hitting balls flipped by coaches or teammates who are positioned just a few feet away. He had been restricted to hitting off a tee over the past couple of weeks.

McCann is slowly regaining arm strength. His throwing program moved him to a distance of 90 feet earlier this week. He completed one set of 15 throws on Tuesday and two sets of 15 on Thursday. He took it a step further by completing two sets of 25 on Saturday.

---- Source: MLB.com

Brian McCann
Brian McCann
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Ellis Tops Southern All-Star Finale At Talladega Short Track

"The Ditch-Digger" Derek Ellis of Chatsworth, Ga., outran fourth-starting Michael Page to emerge victorious in Saturday night's 40-lap 2016 Southern All Star series finale at Talladega Short Track across from NASCAR's Superspeedway. Ellis in his #  99 'AutoZone, Base Racing Fuels, and Ellis Contracting" sponsored Longhorn / Vic Hill powered Super Late ... (click for more)

Dalton State Golfers Jump To Sixth In Coaches Poll

NORMAN, Okla. –  Oklahoma City claimed nine of 10 first-place votes to remain No. 1 in the Bushnell Golfweek NAIA Coaches Poll. The defending national champions have been the top-ranked NAIA team for four-straight polls.    Texas Wesleyan earned the remaining first-place vote. British Columbia was third and followed by Wayland Baptist, Victoria,  ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Where Is The Speed Control On Our Highways? - And Response (2)

I am teaching my 15-year-old to drive in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. I have warned her of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit both as a hazard to herself and in terms of receiving a ticket. What a liar I am.  Have you driven on the local freeways and highways recently? I never see any highway patrolmen helping to reduce speeding or pulling over those who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)