ATLANTA — One-half inch may have been the difference between Freddie Freeman facing another extended stay on the disabled list and remaining in the Atlanta Braves' lineup.
The first baseman avoided serious injury when he was hit on his left wrist by a pitch from Philadelphia's Hoby Milner Wednesday night. Freeman said the ball hit one-half inch from where he was hit by a pitch last season, causing a fracture that forced him to miss seven weeks.
A CT scan on Thursday confirmed the good news for Freeman. When X-rays taken Wednesday night showed no structural damage, he immediately began lobbying to start in Thursday night's game against the New York Mets. Freeman was cleared to start after taking about 25 swings Thursday.
Freeman said he "got lucky" to escape with only some bruising and discomfort.
"When I was sitting for X-rays last year, I could tell there was something definitely wrong," he said. "It was throbbing and it was aching. Yesterday, it just hurt. There wasn't any throbbing or aching. I think I knew I dodged one but I wasn't sure because it was so close. ... I didn't know if it was going to re-injure the old one from last year."
Asked if he was going to tell manager Brian Snitker if he has any problems with the wrist, Freeman quickly said, "Probably not."
After he was hit by the pitch from the left-handed Milner, Freeman winced, stood at the plate for a few seconds and then walked to the dugout to remove himself from the game.
"Obviously, you don't want to see your best player potentially not be around," Snitker said, adding that he wasn't worried about that prospect for too long.
"He told me last night before he left he was ... playing," Snitker said.
Freeman has played all 17 games this season and is batting .288 with two homers and 12 RBIs. He's a two-time All-Star and was an MVP candidate last season before the injury.
Freeman's news was especially comforting after the Braves lost right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a strained right hamstring before Wednesday night's game. Sanchez, who had been scheduled to start Thursday night, suffered the injury while running in the outfield before batting practice.
The Braves recalled right-hander Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett to face the Mets. Outfielder Lane Adams was designated for assignment.