Freeman was one of four Braves who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. He had a fever, body chills and other symptoms, according to his wife, Chelsea. First, the Braves said they put the health of their players first and wanted Freeman, Touki Toussaint, Will Smith and Pete Kozma to recover as quickly as possible.
An unfortunate and inevitable part of the 2020 season is that positive tests will have implications on the ground. Freeman, who rarely takes a day off from first base, may not be released until July 24, when the Braves open their regular season of 60 games. As such, the Braves will soon have to consider replacing it.
Speaking to the media on Sunday morning, manager Brian Snitker mentioned three players capable of managing the first base: Austin Riley, Adam Duvall and Johan Camargo.
“I think (Duvall) would be one,” said Snitker. “Austin. Camargo played a little there. Austin looked really good there when we played him there in spring training. He would be fine there defensively, probably in my mind. Adam played a few games there. We started hitting him on the ground in spring training. I am sure we will start over the next two weeks. “
Riley and Camargo competed for the third basic job in the spring. Camargo’s ability to play on the field could be particularly valuable this season, which will be surrounded by daily uncertainties. Riley can play the third goal, the first goal and the left field. Still, the pair combined to play seven regular season games at first base.
The Braves’ candidates extend far beyond the mentioned Snitker trio. Nick Markakis played first base in just six games, most recently in 2016, but he could be another possible replacement. The Braves could start the Markakis and Duvall section – as they planned to do in the outside field before signing Marcell Ozuna – if they wished.
There are less likely options if the Braves find themselves in a pinch. Adeiny Hechavarria did not play the first goal in a match, but was working at the end of last season. The Braves have veterans Charlie Culberson, Yonder Alonso, Peter O’Brien and Yangervis Solarte in their player pool, although none are on the 40 player list.