There is no easy way to replace someone hitting well over .300 and leading the National League in home runs, but that’s exactly what the Atlanta Braves are attempting to do. With the recent injury of franchise first baseman Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves have acquired former St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams, along with cash considerations, in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Yepez.
Adams had once been the primary first baseman for the Cardinals, batting .286 with 119 RBI’s and 101 Runs over his two-year period as a starter. After the Cardinals shifted Matt Carpenter over to first, playing time has been hard to come by for Adams. The Cardinals did experiment with Adams in the outfield, but after failed attempts, Adams has been nothing more than a bench and platoon player.
Adams is expected to receive the bulk of playing time at first base during Freeman’s absence. Braves manager Brian Snitker could hardly hold his excitement, stating:
“He’ll make us better. That’s a legit guy. We are looking forward to seeing him and I’m sure he’s looking forward to getting here. What he does is lengthen our lineup again” said Snitker via the David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Adams is an above-par defender at first base, posting a 4.6 Ultimate Zone Rating and 12 runs prevented in his starts at first base. He also brings a big bat to a lineup in need, but be wary of expectations vs southpaws as Adams has struggled mightily, batting .210 against lefties.
Though Adams is a very nice fill-in for the Braves, Freeman’s return could not come any sooner. It is nearly impossible to replace the face of the franchise, but the acquisition of Adams shows that the Braves are not throwing in the towel. The Braves hope Adams can help weather the storm and hand a healthy Freeman the reigns back with the Braves still in the hunt. Adams will then provide the Braves with a much needed bat off the bench.